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Booty Crew Spotlight: Laney Parrish

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.33.06 PMThe Booty Crew, also known as the Booty Organizing Committee (BOC) is a dedicated group of year-round volunteers who lend their time and talents to ensure 24 Hours of Booty runs smoothly. The BOC meets with the staff months before the event to ensure no detail is left out.

Laney Parrish is a member of the Charlotte BOC and says her goal is to do everything she can to make sure things go off without a hitch. Her responsibilities include updating the inventory for all the events, as well as assisting with donation processing. Parrish was introduced to 24 Hours of Booty when she was working at Queens University, whose campus runs directly into the Booty Loop. A few of her co-workers formed a team and Parrish eventually asked her husband to join, as well.

Aside from volunteering to give back to the community, Parrish became involved with 24 Hours of Booty due to her personal connection to cancer. In 2012, her brother in-law was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer. He is now doing well and the family is thankful for his recovery. In addition to lending her time to the Charlotte BOC, Parrish will be riding this year in honor of a sorority sister who has recently completed treatment, as well as a friend’s mother who passed away last year.

“We have family taken too soon, see co-workers and friends battle for their lives, know parents who lose their children,” says Parrish. “24 Hour of Booty makes me feel like I am doing something to fight back.”

Cheering on riders is her favorite part of the event and is something she wants everyone in all the event cities to experience. Parrish advises first time riders to speak with other riders on the loop and listen to their stories. She describes the event as “one big family coming together to kick cancer’s booty!”

“Even for those of us not personally affected by cancer, everyone has been touched by it,” Parrish said. “I know the money that is raised is helping our neighbors get the support they need to keep fighting.”

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2015 Atlanta Event Announcement

Over the last five years, 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta riders have made great strides in the fight against cancer. A community of riders has been built that shows tireless support for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

As incredible as this community has been, we have made the decision to cancel the Atlanta event.  The ridership and fundraising numbers have declined over the past three years and continue to do so. This is not a decision that was made lightly. We truly value the relationships we’ve built with you and the entire 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta community. The passion and dedication you’ve shown has left a lasting impact on our organization and the cancer community as a whole.

We will honor our grant commitment to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the 2015 season. Tomorrow you will receive an email detailing your options for handling current registration fees and donations, or riding in another city.  Starting Monday, March 2nd, we will call each registered rider to discuss how you’d like to proceed.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for riding with us, fighting with us and standing with us.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at (704) 365-4417.


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Let’s inspire each other

24 Hours of Booty’s mission is to inspire communities to be active in the fight against cancer. By rallying together, we can inspire each other to make a difference on behalf of people fighting cancer in our own communities.

This week, let’s inspire each other! Inspire the cancer fighters and the survivors. Inspire first time riders to join us and returning riders to push farther. Inspire the entire community to join us in this fight. We will provide step-by-step tips on how together we can rally, ride and fight together.

Let’s start by sharing this video and letting the community know what 24 Hours of Booty is:

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Let’s rally together this week and build your teams. The more riders we have, the more funds we raise and the greater the impact we have on the fight against cancer. This week, the team that adds the most new members will receive a $500 fundraising credit to split evenly among your teammates!

Ride to reach mileage goals, ride for the fun of it and ride to make a difference. Each mile is a step closer to creating a positive change in the cancer community. Make your miles count and reach your goal, whether that be one loop or 100 miles.

When we ride, we are fighting for those in the  midst of their battle and for the survivors. We fight to reach mileage goals and raise funds for our beneficiaries. Make your miles matter and reach, even surpass, your fundraising goal.

Together we ride. Together we fight. Together we inspire.

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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Team Structuremen


24 Hours of Booty Indianapolis rider and board member, Ben Wilhelm, takes his level of commitment to new levels by participating in the event leading his friends and fellow co-workers on Team Structuremen and off the course giving back with his involvement on the organization’s Board of Directors.

“I live in Charlotte, but spent most of my life in Indianapolis, so I thought it would be cool to be a team captain in one of our expansion cities where I can help the event grow,” said Ben Wilhelm, captain of Team Structuremen.

He first rode in 24 Hours of Booty as an individual participant a few years ago, but decided to lead Team Structuremen in Indianapolis and ride with Team Greer Walker Charlotte last year. Wilhelm also joined the 24 Hours of Booty Board of Directors last year and was excited to get involved with an organization that allowed him to participate in two of his favorite cities.

“The idea of 24 Hours of Booty spoke to me as my father died of throat cancer and three of my four brothers had cancer, one deceased,” Wilhelm said. “I have been a road cyclist for nearly 20 years, so this seemed like a great way to support the fight against cancer and promote survivorship.”

It wasn’t hard for Wilhelm to recruit his family members, friends and his Shiel Sexton co-workers to participate in the Indianapolis event since the course near Butler University is practically his old neighborhood. Their team name stems from the Shiel Sexton mascot, which is a Structureman, a three story steel sculpture of a super-hero construction guy affixed to their building on North Capitol in downtown Indianapolis.

“Because the Stuctureman is part of our corporate identity, it seemed like the team needed to pay respect to the athleticism and wisdom that is Structureman,” Wilhelm said.

It is the culture of Shiel Sexton to invest in the community where they do their business  Team Structuremen have many members who are endurance athletes and also members who ride recreationally, but they all enjoy supporting an event as laid back as 24 Hours of Booty.

Previously, the team collectively raised $5,500, but they plan to exceed this amount in 2015. The team may be planning an event this year that remains top secret, but their first goal is to grow the team’s ridership with the idea that the money will then follow.

Wilhelm personally rode 200 miles in the Indianapolis event last year. This year’s mileage goal will depend on his level of mental and physical motivation come this spring. He most enjoys the first lap around the loop, as well as hanging with friends, the environment, food and music. Having completed numerous marathons and triathlons, Wilhelm believes that 24 Hours of Booty provides the most exceptional participant experience.

“I like the originality of the event, how Spencer Lueders started with the idea of just getting on the bike and riding the Booty Loop in Charlotte and it caught fire from there,” says Wilhelm.  “The event really offers something different than any other cause-related event I have ever experienced.”


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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Team Wholly Spokes

24HoB WhollySpokesSean Beaver, cancer survivor, had been actively looking for opportunities to give back to the cancer community when he first heard about 24 Hours of Booty from a friend who received an email from the Ulman Cancer Fund asking for volunteers for the ride. Beaver was happy to see this ride was local in Columbia. Beaver and his two friends, who would eventually establish the team, have many connections to cancer. Sean himself was diagnosed with Ameloblastoma in 2004 and had a small section of his jaw and surrounding tissue removed.

Beaver describes the team name as a play on words and their association with biking. “Wholly” is meant to represent the belief that the team is in this fight against cancer together and no one is alone; “Spokes” is meant to reflect the idea that we’re all extensions of a central point and radiate outward to support an outer circle. The name is also a play on the saying “Holly smokes”.

Team Wholly Spokes’ fundraising tactics include traditional methods like emailing friends and family. They also take advantage of the tools available in the 24 Hours of Booty Participant Center. The team is currently working on a new concept for fundraising that involves sponsorships and offset purchases. Last year with just two members, the team raised over $2,000. This year, Wholly Spokes would like to be in the $5,000 – $10,000 range.

Beaver has this advice to give to first time riders:

  1. Expect to be sore, but know it’s worth it.
  2. Expect to meet some pretty cool people.
  3. Expect to meet people who inspire you.
  4. Expect to get wet if it rains.
  5. Expect to be taken care of because 24 Hours of Booty thinks of everything.
  6. Expect to have a great time.
  7. Most importantly – make sure your bike has lights for night riding because there’s nothing better than riding as the sun is coming up.

The ride reminds Beaver of how fortunate he is and gives him a way to do something that will hopefully someday help put an end to cancer. A turning point for Beaver was in 2009 when a few members of the team were riding in the event.

“We approached a man standing on the side of the road holding a sign that simply said, ‘Thank you for riding. My son has cancer. He’s only 5,’” says Sean Beaver, team captain of Wholly Spokes. “That changed my life.”



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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Spokes N’ Mirrors

Spokes N Mirrors (1)“Cancer sucks and to see so many come together to fight it gives me hope that someday cancer will be nothing worse than the common cold,” says Scott Dunstan, captain of Team Spokes N’ Mirrors.

Dunstan’s history with 24 Hours of Booty began in 2006 after taking up cycling as a common hobby to enjoy with his father. At the same time, he was looking to get involved with a local charity focused on putting others first. It did not take long for Dunstan to fall in love with the sport, as well as the ability to combine charity and cycling to make a positive impact on the cancer community. In fact, he has participated in the event for the last nine years, only missing one along the way.

His team is primarily average riders, including men and women of all ages who have all in some way been touched by cancer.

“That’s not to say we’ve all been diagnosed with cancer. It is to say we’ve all had close relatives or friends who are currently fighting hard to beat this terrible disease or have lost their lives to cancer,” Dunstan said.

Team Spokes N’ Mirrors do not take themselves too seriously, but strive to support those who need our help battling cancer, increase their fundraising and have fun doing it. Their team name was founded by long time member Trigg Cherry over a beer, “Spokes” replaces the word “Smoke” in the well known phrase “Smoke N’ Mirrors.”

As a team, their goal is to raise $25,000 and individually each team member is responsible for raising $1,000. To reach these goals they involve the community by partnering with restaurants, breweries and other local establishments to host an event each year that ties in food and beverages. Ticket sales and donations go toward their fundraising goals. Some locations that have been part of their cause in the past are Leroy Fox, Cowbell and George’s Brasserie. This year, they are planning to work with Sugar Creek Brewery.

To help promote their fundraising efforts, Dunstan said, “We utilize the awesome tools 24 Hours of Booty provides in the email marketing and personal fundraising pages to raise money, as well as social media.”

Many team members of Spokes N’ Mirrors set mileage goals on a personal level.  For most members, the ride represents time to clock in some miles, but also to relax, hang out and have fun in Bootyville.  The team values their time together since they all worked so hard to raise money leading up to the event. Dunstan personally enjoys the camaraderie in such a successful and positive event.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see people come together for a great cause,” Dunstan said.  “My involvement has helped me discover that a community is formed by the willingness each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.”

Join the camaraderie and register to ride in any of our four 24 Hours of Booty events!



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Team Spotlight: Behind the Name of Team For Pete’s Sake

Michael Smith For Pete's Sake 3This year will be Michael Smith’s second year participating in 24 Hours of Booty Columbia, and for him August cannot come fast enough!

When his father passed away from cancer six years ago, he searched for an event that would tie together bike riding and raising money for cancer research, as well as an organization focused on helping people with cancer.  He finally found 24 Hours of Booty and the search was over. 

“This was the event for me,” Michael Smith said.

Last year, Smith rode as the only member and team captain of team For Pete’s Sake. Although he is the only rider on his team so far this year, he plans to recruit family members and friends to join him in this experience. His team name For Pete’s Sake was first established at an American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event that Smith did the year that his father passed away. 

“When we got to the event they told us that we needed a team name and I drew a blank,”Smith said. “One of my co-workers told me that we should call it ‘For Pete’s Sake’ in remembrance of my Dad.”

For Smith’s second year as a rider, he is determined to raise $2,500. If he does exceed this fundraising goal, then the Monday following the event he will go to work wearing a dress. This way, there is a fun incentive for his coworkers to cheer him on. As far as fundraising strategies, Smith plans to constantly remind people to donate to him via Facebook, Twitter, email, text, in person, etc. He also asks local businesses to hold events where a percentage of the proceeds go toward supporting him as a rider.  For example, last year the California Tortilla in Gaithersburg, Maryland held what they call a  “Spirit Night” where 25 percent of the orders between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. were donated to Smith if the customer told the cashier that they “hate cancer.”

Smith enjoys getting out there to riding with hundreds of other cyclists who hate cancer and ride to raise money for a good cause. His favorite part about 24 Hours of Booty is the camaraderie between the cyclists.

“There were a few cyclists who I just met at the event, but by the end of the 24 hours we were talking and joking around like we had known each other and been riding together for years,” says Smith.

 The companionship he experienced made it easy for him to accomplish last year’s goal to ride until he couldn’t ride any more. He ended up riding a little bit over 136 miles and this year he plans on riding at least 150 miles. Although there were countless times during the ride when he wanted to pull over and quit, he pushed through.

“What changed my mind was two of the traffic people had huge smiles on their faces every time I would ride past them,” says Smith.  “I never asked them their names, but they kept me going, as well as encouraged me to sign up this year and try harder to raise more money for the cause.”

To help support individual riders like Michael Smith visit our website to make a donation.



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Chris Hinkebein’s Be The Match Journey: Part 3 – Bone Marrow Donation Surgery

Chris Hinkebein, 24 Hours of Booty rider, shares his day-of experience from bone marrow donation surgery for Be The Match on Friday, February 6. 

IMG_2067 (1)I woke up at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning and arrived at the hospital shortly after 6 a.m. I checked into the hospital and was told my surgery would be conducted in the children’s hospital wing of the UNC Chapel Hill hospital.

I went to the pre-surgery room where we met with a nurse and had my first IV put in. The anesthesiologists came in to discuss the anesthesia I would be under and what to expect.  I met with the bone marrow transplant surgeons, who told me what to expect from the procedure and explained that my marrow would be taken to a courier and immediately to my match before I was out of surgery.

I was moved from a normal hospital bed to a surgery bed around 8 a.m. The anesthesiologist gave me a toroidal shot and I was quickly asleep.  I woke up to all the familiar faces from pre-surgery and a sore throat from my breathing tube at about 10:15 a.m.  The nurse said surgery went great and they took two liters of bone marrow during the procedure.  I felt little achy, but didn’t really know what was going on for first few minutes.

After an hour and fifteen minutes in recovery, I was released from the hospital.  I was unsteady on my feet, so a nurse wheeled me down and assisted my mom in getting me in the car.  I spent a majority of the day resting in bed.

The procedure went great! I was sore for a couple days, but by Sunday I was pretty mobile and back to about 80 percent. By Monday I was able to stand and sit with no assistance and had very little pain. The pain from the procedure was tolerable; the most relatable way I could describe it would be if you slipped on ice and hit the pavement really hard. I felt most of the pain in my lower back and it was a bruise type ache.

I hope that my match receives my bone marrow donation and his health begins to improve. The donation and this whole experience is something I would not trade for the world.  It has been a truly life changing experience and I would recommend anyone considering donating to visit to join the registry.  It’s been a great experience for an even better purpose.

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Chris Hinkebein’s Be the Match Journey: Part 2 – Pre-Operation

Chris Hinkebein, 24 Hour of Booty rider, shares his perspective of his pre-op experiences on Thursday, February 5 before heading into his bone marrow transplant surgery to donate for Be The Match on Friday, February 6. 

IMG_2060Today is the day before my donation and I’m feeling good. We arrived at UNC Chapel Hill Cancer Hospital this afternoon and checked in with the Bone Marrow Donation unit. My first step was giving four vials of blood, followed by meeting with a nurse practitioner.

The nurse practitioner went through a series of questions about my health since birth, including every bone break, health issue, tobacco/alcohol/drug use and family health history.  She took my blood pressure, checked my vitals, temperature and took a urine sample.  From there, I got a second EKG and chest X-Ray as a follow up to the physical exam I had a couple weeks ago.

I spent the majority of the time with a nurse practitioner who was wonderful.  She spent a lot of time describing what to expect from the procedure, recovery and began to describe the impact of my donation.   Listening to her discuss various patients that have received donations and the positive impact it has had on their lives began to put the whole process into perspective.

As we began to discuss the specific disease that my match has, the nurses begin to tell me about a 27 year-old male with the exact same disease who received a donation through UNC Chapel Hill.  This patient is completely back to normal and you would never know the shape he was in, according to the nurses.

Being 26, this really hit home for me and put the true meaning of this donation into perspective. The exponential impact that one individual who beat cancer has on people around him — other cancer patients, the doctors, nurses, family and friends — really does make you feel small in this large world.  The nurses lit up the more they talked about him and I can only imagine there are several hundreds, if not thousands of other people that he has the same impact on. One case of donating bone marrow for that 27 year-old male has given hope to thousands.

According to the nurses, I will be back to normal after two weeks.  I may never know the impact that this one day has on my match’s life, or if his body even accepted my marrow. I hope to be able to meet my match, but that is a long way down the road.  My hope is that my donation can give a glimmer of hope to this individual, someone in his family, someone in his hospital or maybe someone who will never get the chance to meet him.  The idea of hope is such a large tool that we can latch onto in times of need and possibly be the only thing one needs to push through this terrible disease.My opportunity to provide this hope comes at the bright hour of 6:00 a.m.  I have a two hour prep before my procedure and surgery begins at 8:00 a.m.  The procedure is expected to take no more than two hours and will leave two small incisions on my lower back.  I will be in post operation recovery for around four hours then will be cleared to leave the hospital.

If you would like more information about joining the Be the Match bone marrow registry, please check out to learn more. I would highly encourage you to consider registering if you’re able — it’s a truly rewarding and humbling experience!

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Chris Hinkebein’s Be the Match Journey: Part 1 – You’re a Match

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.20.18 PMChris Hinkebein, 24 Hours of Booty rider, closed out the year helping staff finish the 2014 event season, but little did he know his help would reach far beyond setting up and taking down the events. Hinkebein found out in late fall that he was a bone marrow match for a cancer patient in need of a transplant through Be the Match.

Hinkebein was first introduced to Be The Match (BTM) through his college football coach at the University of Virginia (UVA), Mike London.  Coach London’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at an early age and was in need of a transplant.  After they searched the registry there were no matches for her, so they began to look to immediate family as a last resort. Typically it is very rare for immediate family to be a match, but Coach London was in fact a match.

“Coach London really pushed to have the team and students at UVA sign up, so every year we would spend a day on campus recruiting members of the university community to register,” said Chris Hinkebein, 24 Hours of Booty rider and Be the Match donor.  “Coach London’s efforts recruit hundreds of new registrants each year and have paired many patients with potential donors.”

Since Coach London began his efforts four years ago, Hinkebein is the fifth football player who has been notified he is a match since joining the Be the Match registry.

“My initial motivation really wasn’t me asking myself ‘Why?’ it was more ‘Why not?’,” Hinkebein said.  “The process to register is so simple and could potentially be a life saving decision.  Knowing if the roles were reversed and myself or someone in my family needed a transplant I would be so grateful for the people who signed up to give another chance at life.”

After getting a quick mouth swab to join the BTM registry, Chris was later notified that he was a potential match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. The next step was to get blood drawn to ensure he was a perfect match for the patient. Two months passed and Chris was informed he was indeed a perfect match for the prospective patient in need.

Hinkebein was ecstatic to find out he was a match. Receiving the news that he has the opportunity to save someone’s life is truly humbling to him.

“We all get in the daily grind of work and society, but hearing the news of being a match really puts life back into perspective as to what is really important,” Hinkebein said.

Since finding out he was a match, the process has quickly ramped up and required Hinkebein to be in constant communication with a BTM representative. Hinkebein mentioned that his BTM representative has made the donation process “a breeze” and has been great to work with in regards to planning appointments that fit his schedule.

Hinkebein’s donation will be performed the traditional way, where doctors will insert a needle in my hip to extract the marrow.  The process will take place at UNC-Chapel Hill and should last no more than two hours. The only information Hinkebein was given about the patient was age, gender, and disease type. This information is confidential, but both the donor and patient will have the opportunity to meet one another after the extraction and transplant procedures are complete if both parties agree. 

“Since the process has begun I feel as if I have a connection to the patient,  to someone who I don’t even know and possibly never will,” Hinkebein said. “It is a very unique relationship that is hard to explain, but definitely exciting and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything.”

Fielding constant questions about how he feels going in to the procedure, if he is nervous or if it will hurt, Chris is just ready.  While like most people, he does not like surgery, this is a unique situation that has given him no apprehensions, but rather given him something to look forward to.

“No matter how much the process may hurt, the patient I am donating to is dying, so their pain and hurt is much greater than anything I will endure,” Hinkebein said. “If I can offer someone the opportunity at a second chance at life, I will, no matter how painful the process may be because I would hope someone would do the same in return for myself, my family, my friends or any other complete stranger if they are afforded the opportunity.”

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