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Team Mustang Strong Brings Families Together for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

K6CA_24_hours_of_booty_top_storyLisa Hughes has a lot to be proud of. She is a wife, mother and paralegal who lives in Sandy Springs area of Atlanta, Georgia, and completed her first triathlon at the age of 50. She has since become an avid 24 Hours of Booty participant and supporter.

Lisa first learned about 24 Hours of Booty in 2012, when her son’s school, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, was named as the new host venue for the start/finish of the annual charity, non-competitive cycling event. She was intrigued by the name of the event and was looking for something to do in the triathlon “offseason.”

She truly gained interest when she learned that funds from the Atlanta event supported the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), in addition to LIVESTRONG. Lisa had close friends, Lea and Ken Madren, whose son Chip was successfully fighting his own cancer battle at CHOA. The organization, which is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, was very near and dear to her heart. She knew that she had to get involved in the Booty event.

Lisa has taken on the challenge of bringing other parents, students, staff, and administration from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School together and has formed a new team, Team Mustang Strong! The idea for the team name came from the Facebook page dedicated to health and wellness at the school. The team plans to prepare for the event by having organized group rides once or twice a month on the Booty Loop in Sandy Springs.

Lisa is excited about Team Mustang Strong and hopes to see a rider from the group on the course at all times, at least one rider for all 24 hours! But the main goals for Team Mustang Strong are to have fun and raise money for CHOA.

“I don’t think there is one person at this school who has not been impacted by cancer in some way, so it would be very difficult to select just one individual to honor as a team,” Lisa said. “We ride for all those served by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”

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Neighborhood Residents Motivated to Move from Cheering Zone to Pedal Power for 24 Hours of Booty

In 2014, an estimated 10,450 new cases and 1,350 cancer deaths are expected to occur among children between the ages of birth to 14 years. Advances in treatments for childhood cancer have progressed greatly over the years, and now the five-year benchmark for survival has increased to more than an 80 percent survival rate overall, according to reports by the American Cancer Society. But Cancer is still the second leading cause of death (following accidents) in children between the ages of five to 14 years. Approximately 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before age 20 years.

Ashley Miller was one of these statistics, back in 1981. Her parents took her to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for successful treatment for Ewings Sarcoma, a bone cancer. Miller is forever thankful to the medical professionals at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for saving her life and giving her a future.   Because of this passion, Miller has supported 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta, and will ride the event for the first time this year, leading Team Mount Vernon Woods.

“When 24 Hours of Booty moved to the new course in Sandy Springs two years ago, we spearheaded a cheering zone in our yard,” explained Miller, who has been cancer free for 33 years. We had a ‘tailgate’ theme the first year and a ‘Camp Miller’ theme with jump house for the kids last year. We were thrilled to win the Spirit Award in the neighborhood both years. This year, we are starting a team to not just cheer, but ride.”

Miller said the mission to defeat cancer is always a priority. She has a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and a neighbor who has just started his fight with the disease. She hopes to encourage 24 people – family, friends and neighbors in her neighborhood – to join Team Mount Vernon Woods. They won’t have far to travel, as the 2.6-mile bicycle route winds through their neighborhood.

“It’s our favorite weekend of the year in our neighborhood – it’s so fun,” Miller said. “Because of the event we have met a lot of our neighbors. That weekend, you are outside and everyone looks forward to cheering on the riders. 24 hours sounds intimidating, but it is a loop you can do as much as you want. You can be an avid rider, or just borrow a bike. And it raised money for Children’s Healthcare.”

The residents in the Mount Vernon Woods community cheer for the participants both days as they roll through the tree-lined avenues. This year, the Miller family hopes to inspire neighbors to not only have yard parties and cheering zones, but also register to ride and to beat cancer.

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Giving Back to Those Who Gave

Billy Craddock ATLBilly Craddock learned he had cancer on LIVESTRONG Day, October 2, 2008. After undergoing surgery, a friend told Billy about 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta. 24 Hours of Booty was the answer Billy was looking for on how he could help those who helped him through his fight. Billy’s desire to support others has motivated him to continue to ride with 24 Hours of Booty for the past three years.

“I was more than ready to give back to those that helped me through my darkest time,” Billy Craddock said. “I went through many emotions as is normal I guess, and did a lot of research. Part of my research led me to the LIVESTRONG website, where I got personalized and very caring service.

Billy’s involvement has been both heartfelt and light hearted. Last year, he donned a Ralphie costume from “A Christmas Story” when riding, which was well received by other riders. It was hard to miss him on the Booty Loop in his pink bunny suit and thick black-rimmed glasses. His unique riding gear spurred several picture opportunities and murmurs of the well-known phrase from the film, “you’ll put your eye out kid.” Regardless of his attire, Billy has most enjoyed the wonderful people he has met at the event from year to year.

“I cry at each event and realize just how lucky I was compared to others, and I feel a bit more like a complete person knowing that in some small way I have given back and or helped someone else get the same great advise that I did,” Billy said.

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A Reason for Healing

24 HOB 2013Connections – it is what brings people together and creates a sense of community. 24 Hours of Booty is a community of connections that bring people together for a common cause — to fight cancer. Every individual’s reason to join the fight against cancer is different. For Chris Garrett, he wanted to find a way to honor his father’s memory.

“ I first heard about [the event] when Basil left Push America to join 24 Hours of Booty,” Chris Garrett said. “Then in November of 2009 my father Bill lost his battle with cancer, and I was looking for a way to ‘do something’ – to honor him and other family members and friends who had been impacted by the disease.”

Not long after, Chris ran across 24 Hours of Booty again and realized that was it.  It all seemed to come together and make sense for Chris. 24 Hours of Booty was a great event, contributing to a great cause, and it was also coming to Atlanta, a place Bill and Ann had called home for over 40 years.

It has now been five years since his initial ride in the 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta event. Each year has been filled with great times and new memories. Being around others who are just as focused and determined as he is has been very impactful.

“My teammates, the staff, the riders, the survivors – hearing their stories and seeing them out on the bike – everyone there is working towards the same goal, and that’s a great thing,” Chris said.

Through encouragement from friends and family he continues to be involved in giving back to a good cause. This event has been exactly what he needed. It has helped him heal and allowed him to continue to honor his father.

“This may sound strange, but I think 24 Hours of Booty has helped me in my healing process,” Chris said.  “That first year, one of the segments I rode from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. – that time of the night is now one of my favorite times to ride at 24 Hours of Booty.  It is very quiet and peaceful, and it gives me time to think about why I’m there.”

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Passionate Cyclist Inspired to Bridge the Gap & Support Cancer Community in 24 Hours of Booty

Nathan hevesyNathan Hevesy has been involved with 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta for the past four years after making the decision to start cycling in 2009. His passion for cycling was further sparked by his previous employer, Ingersoll Rand, who had a team for many years in the Charlotte event.

“I decided to join [24 Hours of Booty Atlanta] coupling my dad’s previous fight with cancer and my love for cycling,” Nathan said.  “It was an unbelievable event and paved the path for my captaincy in Atlanta for the past four years!”

Nathan is amazed by the perseverance and positive outlooks riders and supporters share about the difficult trials they have experienced in their lives. 24 Hours of Booty has inspired Nathan and his family so much so that it has become an event they look forward to every single year.

“People like my father, Nadine, and others that told stories (and continue to fight) make me go the extra mile,” Nathan said. “I have never battled cancer, but have been around many that have and have lived to tell the tales of the fight.  As a community, we can do so much more to help the people fighting and the cause, and this event is simply a stepping stone to bridge the gap in many peoples’ lives.”

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The Gains of Grassroot Fundraising Events

rsz_ben_parrish_grassrootsEver since his first encounter with 24 Hours of Booty Charlotte in 2009, Ben Parrish has had nothing but a continually great experience each year. As a student at Queens University during that year, he was familiar with the ride and was convinced that he should sign-up to ride. Four years later, he is still going strong. Like many other riders, he had a very personal connection to cancer.

“My father, grandmother and aunt were all impacted at one point or another,” said Ben Parrish, Charlotte rider and Booty Organizing Committee member. “In 2012, I was planning on riding in the memory of a friend and mentor, Mac McInerny, who had lost his battle over the holidays.”

2012 was a pivotal year for Ben after learning his brother Dan had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, which as he described “nearly paralyzed him with concern.” Thankfully for Ben’s brother Dan, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments put him on the road to recovery. Ben’s experience with his brother’s diagnosis made the 2012 24 Hours of Booty that much more special to him as it was an opportunity for him to absorb all that was happening in the cancer community.

“I learned more that year and was able to put so much in context of the larger picture of how 24 Hours of Booty fits into the cancer support community,” Ben said.

After getting a deeper perspective of the mission and vision of 24 Hours of Booty, Ben aspired to better engage his peers about the event, organization and its financial purpose. This desire incited him to begin organizing grassroots events to fundraise for and spread the word about 24 Hours of Booty.

“It is amazing to me that for as many years as 24 Hours of Booty has been around, that there are people in Charlotte who still are not aware of it,” Ben said. “It is getting to share the origin story of the ride all the way through to the great work being done at the Levine Cancer Institute. With my wife Laney’s support, we have done several events in support of Booty.”

Fortunately, they have been able to combine their love for baking and cooking BBQ to create many successful grassroots events. Each event has been a success and helped tremendously with Ben’s individual fundraising. In the process, Ben has also been able to recruit new riders who are also highly dedicated to raising money and giving back to a good cause.

“The most rewarding aspect is having people tell me how they have become engaged after an event that we host,” Ben said.  “Whether they have told friends who later signed up to ride, or that they know where they can start in helping their friends and family after a cancer diagnosis. One of the most amazing aspect of 24 Hours of Booty to me is the support network of riders, friends and family that it creates amongst all the people involved, not just those riding.”

Ben’s grassroots fundraising events proved to be very successful and earned him a spot as a top fundraiser and yellow jersey recipient in Charlotte. You too can gain success from grassroots fundraising events. 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta is just two weeks away, that means it’s time to ramp up your fundraising efforts! Check out fundraising event ideas here — there is sure to be an event that peaks your interest. Have ideas you’d like to bounce off someone else? Need help implementing? Contact us at or call us at 877-365-4117.

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Team Hotel Yorba Captain 10-year Survivor, Amputee Pedals to Put Cancer in its Place

Shay Hamer24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta is not your typical bicycle ride. People can ride a bicycle, tricycle, or unicycle as much or little as they want, whether that is one hour or 24 hours, one mile or 100 miles. Riders do not compete for time, placement, or ranking. They are a community united by one common goal—fighting together to beat cancer.

Team Hotel Yorba is not your typical team. It is led by a very inspirational resident of Sandy Springs, Shay Hamer. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a blogger, a business owner and a big-time survivor. Hamer has overcome challenges as an amputee (below the knee) and has been fighting cancer for 10 years. She’s still fighting, this year is her fifth time in treatment. This year she has challenged herself, and her family/friends to take part in 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta.

“I was first diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, back in 2002,” said Shay Hamer, who started her latest treatment in August 2014. “This year is my fifth time back for cancer treatment. It was my father, who lives in Birmingham (Ala.), who suggested I register and ride 24 Hours of Booty, since it is right here in Sandy Springs. My son is nine years old and he is excited about the camping (in Bootyville).”

Due to treatments, Hamer hopes to ride at least one lap for the October 4-5 event. She is definitely planning to cheer on her teammates. She formed Team Hotel Yorba this summer, a nickname given to her home in Sandy Springs that was inspired by a 2001 song performed by The White Stripes.

“I enjoy riding a bicycle whenever I can, it’s a great form of exercise,” said Hamer.  “For me, this is the easiest thing for me – being an amputee makes some exercise difficult.”

Hamer rides along with her father, who has competed at the Senior Olympics. Together, they will ride to not only honor her fight against cancer, but to celebrate her uncle, who received a clean bill of health from cancer just two weeks ago.

“Being a working mom and wife living with cancer isn’t the easiest thing to do. I worry about the impact on my son all this will have, but we have always been honest with him. It is just the three of us so we are a tight group, Team Hamer. There have been times when we have had to step back and have some explain things and why they are happening. That is hard.  However because of them he opens up to me and tells and asks me all kinds of questions about life, growing up, school etc. that I am not sure he would have ask if we weren’t so open and honest,” added Hamer.

Even though cancer is serious business, the ride does not have to be. She anticipates the weekend will be a great adventure for her son, her family and her team. The family is shopping for a tent to use at Bootyville, the campground at the start/finish area where riders eat, listen to live bands, and recharge when not riding. The event is hosted at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

“All they got inside is vacancy” is a line from the song Hotel Yorba. There is still room for more teams at this year’s 24 Hours of Booty. Hamer and her Hotel Yorba team hope to be “sold out” and surpass their fundraising goal of $1,500 for this year’s ride. To donate to their fight against cancer, click here.




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Win a Klipsch Portable Wireless Music System

Klipsch_logoScreen Shot 2014-06-12 at 2.31.38 PMATLANTA RIDERS, our friends at Klipsch are really excited about 24 Hours of Booty.  We’re talking really, really excited. So excited that they want to celebrate by giving away a Klipsch KMC 1 Portable Wireless Music System to one lucky rider!  (Did I mention that it comes in 24 Hours of Booty orange?) There are two ways to win an entry – we’re keeping it simple!

  1. Raise $100 or more between Tuesday, September 9 and Friday, September 12 at 4:30 pm.
  2. Register to ride!

It will be a great week to get ahead on those fundraising commitments and start sending some emails! You can find tips on the best way to get started here. Good luck!

The Fine Print: 

  1. Eligibility: This contest is open to all participants registered for the 24 Hours of Booty 2014. 24 Hours of Booty employees, board members and their families are not eligible.  
  2. Agreement to rules: Participation in the contest constitutes full and unconditional agreement to the decisions of 24 Hours of Booty, which are final. All prizes are contingent on availability of apparel sizes and are not transferable. 24 Hours of Booty reserves the right to substitute prizes as needed.
  3. Period. The contest begins September 9, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. and will end at 4:30 p.m. on September 12, 2014.
  4. Entry: Entries will be based on the above criteria. You must be registered to qualify for prizes. 
  5. Selection: 24 Hours of Booty will award one Klipsch KMC 1 Portable Wireless Music System.
  6. Release of Liability: By participating in this contest, you agree to releases and hold harmless 24 Hours of Booty, Klipsch and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, sponsors from any claim arising from your participation in this contest or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto).

Tax Implications: All participants who receive more than $600 in incentives must fill out a 1099-MISC as per the IRS. This may result in taxable income for you and you should consult a tax professional with questions.


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Strength in Numbers: Team Booty Tribe Wins ‘Rookie of the Year’

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.17.55 PM24 Hours of Booty is best defined by the word “community.” Community is what brings more than 500 people each year to Columbia, Md. to pedal to put cancer in its place. While the name “24 Hours of Booty” is an attention grabber on its own, word of mouth extends farther to bring a variety of people together committed to the cause to fight cancer. Word of mouth brought Team Booty Tribe together. While members of Team Booty Tribe each joined 24 Hours of Booty for different reasons, they together have become a strong force that saw great success for their first official event together.

In the summer of 2012, Robert Freedman read an article in the Baltimore Sun about a man named Bryan McMillian. In the article, McMillan was discussing sitting beside his friend in the hospital who was dying of cancer. The article also mentioned 24 Hours of Booty – an organization Bryan has been involved with for many years. Rob networked via LinkedIn to get in touch with Bryan who then put him in touch with Amanda Meyers, recruitment director for 24 Hours of Booty. Rob recruited his brother Scott who was an avid cyclist, along with a few friends and colleagues from Colliers International to form a team for the 2013 event. From there, Team Colliers was born.

“We had no idea what to expect and the simple fact was that we had an absolute blast!” Rob said. “We rode, we ate, we laughed, we raised money – it was just a very fun event with warm supportive riders, family and friends and strangers all coming together.”

Team Booty Tribe evolved from Team Colliers after Rob’s friend Deborah Adler wanted to ride in honor of her husband Harry, who was undergoing experimental cancer treatments. Together, Rob and Deborah spearheaded Team Booty Tribe and immediately began recruiting others to join them. The two pre-ordered 50 registrations and were fortunate to gain over 40 team members in the process.

With a solid team in place, Booty Tribe began ramping up their fundraising efforts by asking family and friends, as well as hosting “Bake your Booty Off” bake sales at various Colliers offices. As a new team for the 2014 24 Hours of Booty Columbia, Team Booty Tribe collectively raised over $12,000 to support the fight against cancer. The team’s strong numbers in both membership and fundraising dollars was the driving force behind them winning the Rookie of the Year award.

“[24 Hours of Booty] gives hope to people that don’t know what is next for them or friends or family,” Rob said. “It gives them a chance to try to ‘do something’ to beat a really crappy disease. For me, it checks a lot of boxes – I want to be outside, be with friends, be active, and camp outside a little. I like helping and raising money that you know will try to do some good. It has been a humbling experience of all the people that I have met, that have joined our team to support Deborah and Harry and me.”

To learn more how you can build your team and kick start your fundraising check out the tutorial pages below:

Also, don’t forget about chances to help you recruit for your team with the Atlanta Falcons Contest running now until the event on October 4-5th. Check out contest details here for your chances to win BOGO registration or a $10 discount!

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Volunteer Registration Now Open for 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta

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Volunteer registration is now open for the Fifth Annual 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta. This year’s charity cycling event is scheduled to roll through Sandy Springs’ Mount Vernon Woods neighborhood from 2 p.m., Saturday, October 4 to 2 p.m., Sunday, October 5 when participants will be riding and raising funds for the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to support this year’s Atlanta ride in areas, such as packet pick-up, pre-event course preparation and maintenance, food and beverage, campground management and parking and traffic control. Volunteer shifts are assigned in three and four-hour increments and opportunities are available for individuals and groups. All volunteers must register online at (click on the volunteer tab). For questions, contact 24 Hours of Booty at 877-365-4417.

“Our organization and events thrive off our amazing volunteer base which is instrumental in providing support year round and in all aspects of our rides,” said Basil Lyberg, executive director of 24 Hours of Booty. “There are volunteer opportunities for everyone. We encourage people to grab their friends and family and join our volunteer community to help put cancer in its place.”

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