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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Betty and the Buttcrackers

All threeFor John Raab, team captain of Betty and the Butt Crackers, it was always a goal of his to ride in 24 Hours of Booty Indianapolis. He had previously participated as a Booty Crew member for the event, but when his sister was diagnosed with lung cancer, 24 Hours of Booty provided him with a way to fundraise for a cause as well as complete his goal of riding in the event.

“I felt it was my Booty Duty,” said John Raab. “[24 Hours of Booty] has given me a renewed sense of purpose.”

Adding to his list of goals for this year Raab intends to ride 100 miles along side his teammate Bob Boehman, whose goal is 300 miles. To complete this goal, Raab looks forward to the most exciting part of the race, “riding into the wee hours of the night.”

This year their team consists of Raab, his daughter, his school principle and a friend whom he met last year while riding. This is one of his favorite parts of the race, being able to meet new people with similar interests and the possibility of new teammates.

Raab’s team may be small, but they are hardly overlooked due to their unique team name and cycling attire.

“We held a fundraiser at work and whoever donated the most money won the privilege of naming our team,” Raab said. “ We ended up with Betty and the Butt Crackers.”

The donors also choose race attire for the team to wear each year. Last year the team’s uniform consisted of pink tees and pink tutus, but this year their outfit choice is still to be determined.

Want to see what Team Betty and the Buttcrackers will be sporting on the Booty Loop this year? Register for the 2015 24 Hours of Booty Indianapolis here.

 

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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Team Reeb

David Faulkner 2Riding their way down the paths of the Sedgfield neighborhood of Southend Charlotte, cycling started as a hobby for David Faulkner and his friends. In 2007, one of his friends mentioned the 24 Hours of Booty event and Faulkner thought it would be a great challenge. His team was only made up of about five friends at the time.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (OMB) became involved with the cycling group almost by accident. OMB was a convenient place for team members to meet in the Southend area. Every Friday afternoon, the group would come together for team meetings to discuss strategy, and became frequent customers of the brewery. In 2009, the group approached the owners about partnering with them for 24 Hours of Booty to which they agreed, and the partnership officially began 2010.

“With our newly formed relationship with OMB in 2010, I almost signed up the team for the event that year as ‘Team Beer’”, said David Faulkner, Team Reeb captain. “Team Reeb’ was about as far out of the box as I could think.”

Faulkner’s vision is for someone in a car to be able to make out the word “beer” from their rear view mirror. Although the idea didn’t go as planned, the name suck with the group.

“A wise staff person at 24 Hours of Booty once told us that the best fundraisers are ones that capitalize on what the team does well,“ says Faulkner.

Fundraising is a major focus for Team Reeb, so they honed in on their best skills – eating and drinking. Team Reeb hosts an annual barbeque in the spring and holds events at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery to raise money. They also cultivate relationships with other local restaurants and fitness centers where a portion of a night’s proceeds go to 24 Hours of Booty. Team Reeb’s goal is to raise more than $75,000 and to receive top team honors, while Faulkner’s personal goal is to be a yellow jersey winner for 2015.

Team Reeb now has around 55 members made up of friends of friends as Faulkner describes. He has made many new friends and reached many personal goals since his first ride. His relationship with 24 Hours of Booty along with the team continues to grow in great spirits and now many regular riders who he considers family.

“In the end, I always seem to walk away after the event with at least one or two specific moments where I can say, ‘Yep, that is why we ride in circles for 24 hours’”, Faulkner said.

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Seven Years of Service – Thank You Annie Ray

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24 Hours of Booty has been home to Annie (Jackson) Ray in more ways than one. Annie has had close ties to the organization, as her older brother and cousin participated annually in the Charlotte event and former executive director, Patti Weiss is a longtime family friend. This relationship springboarded Annie’s involvement as the first intern of 24 Hours of Booty in May 2008 , which led to her quickly taking on the full time role as Office Manager in July of that same year.

“Ultimately I decided to end my beach life early and take the job,” said Annie Ray. “I had enjoyed being a part of the working world, loved the environment, the people and the mission to serve the cancer community.”

Annie has taken on a variety of roles at 24 Hours of Booty including bookkeeping, community event organizing, gift processing on every level, volunteer and intern management, customer service, technical support, fundraising, and serving as the organization’s main point of contact and liaison. 24 Hours of Booty formed nearly her entire professional background and through serving in a multitude of roles Annie has taken away valuable lessons both personally and professionally. Each role has allowed her to approach problem solving in different ways. While personally, the organization has taught her the importance of being compassionate in all aspects of life.

“Cancer affects everyone and I’ve met people living with stage four cancer, people who have lost children, spouse’s, parents and friends,” Annie said.  “Most often I’ve found that their hardships have led them to have an incredible view of life’s precious timeline. These individuals often seem to be masters of how and where to effectively draw strength — spiritually or from the world and people around them.”

In addition to the passion she’s found, Annie has formed “amazing” relationships as she refers to them over the last seven years that have further fueled her love for the organization. She first forged these relationships as an intern, where her first assignment was to research participant testimonials. This initial assignment taught her how to communicate with different people — participants, donors, sponsors, committee  and board members — that share the vision & mission of 24 Hours of Booty. The passion and the people are what Annie says she will miss most about working with the organization.

“The people – it’s such a strong community of individuals working towards the same goal,” Annie said. “I will miss the rush of event season. It was always the craziest and most fun time of year. Everyone involved around that time is full of passion, whether it’s in terms of fundraising, training and mileage goals or checking off to-do lists for community events.”

Little did Annie know that 24 Hours of Booty would not only provide her a professional foundation through serving in a variety of roles and seeing different leadership changes, but would be the connection that formed her family.

“When I met Basil Lyberg I knew we were in for a fun, hard-working environment,” Annie said. “What I did not know was that he did match-making work on the side.”

While working an event, Annie was introduced to a special invitee, her future husband. Annie and her husband Erick live locally in Charlotte with their three-year-old daughter Maddie. After seven years of dedicated service and being the “go-to” girl for 24 Hours of Booty staff, riders, donors and volunteers, Annie is leaving to welcome her second child any day now with her husband.

“24 Hours of Booty has has left me with amazing memories, inspiring stories of life’s struggles and survivorship, wonderful friendships, a variety of professional experiences and a husband and family to boot!” Annie said.  “As I am days away from welcoming our second child into the world, I am so thankful for the all the ways 24 Hours of Booty has impacted my life and my family, but am most proud of all the ways I’ve been witness to the impact that 24 Hours of Booty has had on the lives of those we serve in the cancer community.”

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The staff at 24 Hours of Booty would like to thank Annie for her ceaseless willingness to pick up any task, help find a solution for anyone with a question, and more importantly for bringing a positive spirit and joy to the organization.

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You Don’t Choose, You Just Become: Wife Turned Caregiver

Debbie & BrianNovember is National Family Caregivers’ month, a month dedicated to focusing on the emotional, personal and financial challenges caregivers face whether they provide assistance to a loved one for a few years or for a  lifetime. Debbie Hevesy, 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta rider and former caregiver to her husband Brian, knows all too well the fears and anxieties associated with taking on a responsibility that one does not necessarily choose, but is chosen for them.

“You don’t choose to become a caregiver, you just become one,” said Debbie Hevesy.  “[Cancer] is a scary diagnosis, one filled with uncertainty and fear for the future. Initially, I felt afraid because I was worried about the fatality – I felt that I didn’t want to lose Brian, and I didn’t want him to miss the milestones of the future – the boys graduating from college, getting married, having children, retirement, etc.”

Wife turned caregiver, Debbie followed her husband Brian’s lead by maintaining some sense of normalcy in their lives. Debbie and Brian had two children in college and one child in high school when Brian was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. While his children were in school, Brian worked through his months of treatment. Both Debbie and Brian told their boys as much as they wanted to hear and always told them the truth as they knew it.

The caregiver role changed for Debbie once Brian was admitted to the hospital for 30 days to undergo a stem cell transplant in hopes of eradicating his cancer. Brian’s release from the hospital was the most difficult time for Debbie as a caregiver as she found it challenging to find foods and drinks that agreed with Brian’s palette.

“He would say,“I would like some of that iced tea in the bottle”, so I would buy it, and it would not taste good. Or applesauce, or grape juice, or punch, or pudding, or even water!  – some bottled water can taste very metallic to chemo patients” Debbie said.

The trial and error of knowing what would be tolerable to her husband was very frustrating, but for Debbie it was well worth it.

“Overall, the most rewarding aspect was that Brian was a good patient and whatever I did was enough and was appreciated,” Debbie said. “And most times that was just being there, and knowing that everything was going along fairly normally with the family.”

For others assuming the role of caregiver, Debbie advises to know your patient and to know how far you can go with him or her. Do not smother them, but make the experience as easy as possible for them. Lastly, use available resources from the hospital and organizations, such as LIVESTRONG and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

“Just be there,” Debbie said. “Go to the doctor appointments because two ears are better than one, take notes or talk to someone who has been through the journey. I would say that it is hard to watch your loved one go through the treatment of cancer and the recovery, but keeping positive and keeping things normal worked for our family, and it still does. We have been very fortunate – Brian has seen most of those milestones I feared he would miss, and more!”

Celebrate caregivers this month:

1. Take over for a few hours – give a family caregiver a few hours away with friends or time alone so they can simply relax.

2. Brighten a family caregiver’s day – send a card or flower bouquet of appreciation.

3. Let a caregiving family in your community relax & enjoy the holiday – offer to prepare or help cook a Thanksgiving dinner.

4. Connect a family caregiver with support and educational materials via the Caregivers Action Network.

5. Let us know how we can help support you. Contact us!

 

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24 Days of Thanks


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It’s the season for giving and 24 Hours of Booty would like to give our gratitude to the well deserved groups and individuals we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years from beneficiaries and sponsors to riders, volunteers and booty crew members.

We are a community united by a common goal – to fight cancer. We could not make an impact without you. We are all 24 Hours of Booty. For the month of November, we would like to extend our thanks to all of those who have put in their time, effort and resources to help a cause greater than ourselves.

Thank you! Check the images below for a few of the many people we are thankful for and feel free to share these images with your friends!

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Vote for 24 Hours of Booty in SOCIETY Charlotte’s Best of Philanthropy 2014 Survey!

survey-banner-bopIt’s that time again to show some more love to 24 Hours of Booty! SOCIETY Charlotte has opened its Best of Philanthropy 2014 survey that highlights nonprofit event receive extra attention they deserve.

SOCIETY Charlotte is a free monthly magazine that publishes informative and exciting photos and articles about philanthropic organizations and events in the community. Survey categories include:

 

  • Best Luncheon
  • Best Party
  • Best Themed Event
  • Best Social Media Presence
  • Best Volunteers
  • Best Young Professionals Party
  • Best Family-Friendly Event
  • Best Pet-Friendly Event

Vote for 24 Hours of Booty for Best Social Media Presence, Best Volunteers, and Best Family-Friend Event! If you do not know of an event for the other categories please put N/A. Voting starts now and is open until Monday, December 1, 2014. SOCIETY Charlotte will profile the winners in their January issue.

Show us some love here

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Breast Cancer Awareness Spotlight: Shannon Carney

shannon & daveCancer affects each individual differently, but nearly all those affected can agree that cancer is not a solo battle, but a battle that is best fought as a team. Shannon Carney, long time 24 Hours of Booty rider, found her support system to be her key to survival when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2003.

While breast cancer is commonly found either by self examination or a mammogram, Shannon’s partner Dave discovered hers unexpectedly. After 11 years of being cancer-free, Shannon still recalls the numb feeling she felt upon diagnosis. Shannon tried to treat her breast cancer like any other problem that needed to be solved — get the facts, make a decision and act quickly.

“I thought it would be like a sprint run, hit the ground running hard and finish fast,” said Shannon Carney.  “But we quickly came to realize this was more like a marathon and that diagnosis was merely filling in the sign-up form.  The training and race were yet to come.”

For Shannon, physical treatments, such as chemotherapy proved to be the most challenging for her. However, her physical pain was offset by the emotional and spiritual support she received. Despite experiencing challenges that come with cancer, Shannon and Dave made a conscious choice to continue to do what they love, which included spending time in nature with friends. For example, the night before each chemo treatment, a group of their friends would come to their house for a backyard party.  Memories of friends laughing gave Shannon comfort when undergoing treatment.

Shannon’s experience with breast cancer including its physical, emotional and spiritual challenges taught her that the battle requires both stamina and quiet time to process the obstacles it brings. As a result of her cancer journey,  Shannon and Dave decided to spread their passion for friends and nature to others and founded Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats & Programs in 2007. The organization, a beneficiary of 24 Hours of Booty, focuses on the mind, body and spirit — fostering friendships, simplifying, laughing and spending time in nature.

The difficult aspects of cancer, emotional and spiritual struggles, are experienced by a majority of people affected by cancer. More than 40% of all cancer patients go through some form of depression. While most of the feelings do not last, these emotions should not be taken lightly. After seeing cancer from the other side, Shannon stresses to others not to be afraid to seek a counselor or support group.

“Do not go it alone,” Shannon said. “Support looks different for every person.  Find what works for you. That might be prayer, meditation or time in nature.  Or staying active on your “good” days, with a walk, yoga class or light bike ride, more likely a combination of all of these.”

To learn more about Shannon and Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats and programs please visit http://www.windriverservices.org/.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Spotlight: Kate Nowrouki

Kate_Breast CancerYoung, no family history, healthy. These three thoughts circled in the back of 24 Hours of Booty Columbia rider, Kate Nowrouki’s mind, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36.

It all began to unravel when Kate inadvertently found a lump in her breast during a self-examination. Kate immediately went to her OBGYN to check it out. Her doctor said the chances the lump was cancerous were slight since she was under the age of 40 and did not have a family history of the disease.  She insisted on getting more definitive answers and  having a mammogram, but was told that due to her age that her insurance company may not cover the cost. Fortunately, Kate’s insurance came through and the lump  ended up being benign. However, Kate was not in the clear yet. Her mammogram revealed massive cancer cells, which led to her decision to have a mastectomy.

“The whole journey has been such a positive experience overall, it gives you a whole new perspective for life,” Kate Nowrouzi said. “I learned to appreciate all the little things even more than before with my wonderful and supportive husband and two beautiful children.”

Cancer does not discriminate. Every person no matter their age, health, or family history are susceptible to cancer, but the difference as with any obstacle in life is how one reacts. For Kate, she took charge of her health and performed self-examinations that led to her early detection, which proved to be lifesaving.

“I highly encourage young women to get a mammogram, its never too early,” Kate said. “And if you have a family history, do the genetic test even if your issuance won’t pay for it. It would be the best $2,800.00  you have ever spent! Early detection can save a life. And my last message…be a little kinder today, life is too short!”

For more information on how you can help detect breast cancer early visit the American Cancer Society’s resource website.

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Vote for 24 Hours of Booty in Endurance Magazine’s 2014 Best of Survey!

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.48.41 AMIt’s time to cast your vote for 24 Hours of Booty! Wednesday, October 15 is the last day to complete Endurance Magazine’s 2014 Best Of Survey.

Endurance Magazine is the premier publication in the Carolina’s promoting active lifestyles. The annual survey of the best in endurance sports for 2014, assesses people in the three Carolina regions where the magazine publishes – Charlotte, Triad and Raleigh/Durham areas. Categories range from running, cycling and swimming to nutrition, bodywork and mental fitness.

Vote for 24 Hours of Booty for the Best Charity Ride in Charlotte for 2014! Start the survey here.

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Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Strengthens Atlanta Community as Host Venue for 24 Hours of Booty

mvpsThis year marks the fifth annual 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta and the third year the event will be hosted by Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS). The partnership between 24 Hours of Booty and Mount Vernon Presbyterian School demonstrates the joint commitment to impacting the community and encouraging others to be engaged and become compassionate leaders.

In 2012, MVPS heard of 24 Hours of Booty through city councilman, Gabe Sterling. Gabe and other councilmen were instrumental in bringing 24 Hours of Booty to the Sandy Springs community. MVPS is an ideal venue for 24 Hours of Booty as it has become a hub for innovation in Atlanta and is centrally located providing easy access for cyclists from all areas surrounding Atlanta. The partnership between MVPS and 24 Hours of Booty has amplified the school’s emphasis on building engaged citizen leaders.

“We are thrilled to share that one of the most exciting developments of our partnership has led to a stronger connection with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), a large beneficiary of 24 Hours of Booty,” said Allison Toller, chief of brand strategy and partnerships at MVPS. “This school year our fifth graders (80 students) will be working with CHOA through a year-long service project to serve and support the hospital in a variety of ways.”

With 2014 being the third year MVPS is hosting the event, the school has experienced an increase in both awareness and involvement from the community. Aside from serving as a host venue, the middle school will be actively involved in the event. The middle school service club will be volunteering to assist with set up and faculty and staff members will be riding in the event on Team Mustang Strong led by Lisa Hughes.

“The riders and the community building, and knowing that we’re supporting a vital local partner, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,” explained Miller when asked what Mount Vernon most enjoys about 24 Hours of Booty.

The involvement with 24 Hours of Booty has influenced MVPS to be an advocate for health and wellness. This year, Mount Vernon is partnering with the NFL as part of its Play 60 FitnessGram Project, which encourages children in grades 1 – 8 to participate in 60-minutes of physical activity per day. As one of the 32 schools in the program and the only school selected from Georgia, Mount Vernon will work with Atlanta Falcons players and host player events. Students’ activity levels will be measured and analyzed by the NFL and the Cooper Institute as part of the project.

24 Hours of Booty thanks Mount Vernon Presbyterian School for their beautiful accommodations and continued support!

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