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How to Create a Fundraiser and Have Fun!

This blog is third in a series from Sweet Rides team members Tracy Begley and Therese DeLashmutt. 

When Therese and I talk about what fundraisers we want to do each year there are some basic criteria that they have to meet:

1. Do we have the time and resources available?
2. Do we have an audience to share information about the LIVESTRONG Foundation, AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare and 24 Hours of Booty?
3. We need to have lots of FUN along the way!

Time and Resources

When selecting your fundraiser you have to address the time it will take to implement, and ensuring that you have access to the resources you will need to make your fundraiser a success. 

Not only do you need to consider the date of your fundraiser, you also need to consider items such as the time to plan your fundraising activity.  Most importantly, you need to be realistic with the amount of time you can invest given your available hours.  If you have a demanding job or many other commitments, you may want to select a fundraiser that has a smaller time investment.  You also can’t wait until 2 weeks before the ride to create a fundraiser that is going to take a significant amount of planning, but there all still many options to choose from!

One of the techniques we use to think objectively about a fundraiser is to try and view the fundraiser in business terms.  We imagine the amount of money we fundraise as a paycheck and the hours we invest as our work hours.  We want to maximize the “paycheck” for the amount of hours we have to “go to work”.  You have to decide if it makes sense to work a certain number of hours on a fundraiser given the amount of money you believe you can bring in with that fundraiser. It takes some time and thinking to figure out what works, but with a little planning and estimation, it can be done.

Resources are a vital part to a successful fundraiser. Resources can be the friends, family and teammates that help you out, local businesses, or even 24 Hours of Booty staff.  It can also be  money or items that are needed to carry off a successful fundraiser.  We do our best to get as much as possible donated or with as little cost as possible.

Time and resource availability are the biggest parts to a successful fundraiser.  If this part of the process seems overwhelming to you, turn to trusted friends to help plan and evaluate!


You can plan the best fundraiser in the world, but you have to make sure you have an audience that will share in your awesomeness! This is key when originally selecting your fundraiser.  Your audience can be people with similar interests or you can create ways to engage the general public.  We are looking for an audience to raise money, but also we want to share information about the organizations that 24 Hours of Booty supports.  Our team has even gone one step further and tried to always include information about getting out and biking with your family and bike safety.  Making sure your event is focused on your audience will ensure success!


Planning and implementing a fundraiser is a lot of work.  There is a huge pay off, but you will have to put in time and energy to make it a success.  It is most important that as you go through the process you make sure you have fun.  It seems obvious, but if you are not having fun it will be hard to motivate others and be successful.  It is helpful to have friends and family around you to help with the fun factor.  Be silly, act goofy, dress funny, set a theme, have good food and drinks – anything to make you laugh during planning sessions and at the event, then those you meet along the way will want to join you and the craziness!

So plan that last minute fundraiser!  It doesn’t have to be big, but keep these three things in mind!  Our team still has 2 fundraisers to go with less than 2 weeks left.  We know that we will have to work hard, but we promise there will be a lot of Sweet Rides fun along the way!!!

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Bob’s Story

Jay Gallagher, Bob Falkenberg, Carl Kooyoomjian

Jay Gallagher, Bob Falkenberg, Carl Kooyoomjian

In February 2009, Bob Falkenberg was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He was treated with six months of chemotherapy. This was followed by a bone marrow stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor on October 27, 2009. In between treatments, Bob and his wife Karen, residents of Alpharetta, Ga., walked the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, which ultimately sparked Bob’s decision to take an active and energetic road to recovery.

“Cycling has been a huge part of my recovery. Ten months post transplant, I completed 100 miles at the Savannah Century with my friend Carl Kooyoomjian,” Bob said. “Quit and give up are not in my vocabulary.  After all the chemo and my transplant in 2009, I had trouble just riding 10 miles, I am now in the best physical shape of my life.”

Just nine months after the Savannah Century, Bob and Carl took on an even greater cycling challenge. Joined by Bob’s daughter Katie, the three participated in an unsupported ride from Carl’s house in Beverly Farms, Mass. to Key West, Fla. – cycling 1,800 miles in 29 days!  They were able to raise over $18,000 for cancer research.

In July 2012, Bob met his stem cell donor, a young man from Grand Rapids, Mich. who signed up at a Be The Match college drive years earlier. Today, Bob is a volunteer on the Leadership Council of Be The Match Southeast, which allowed him to create the Be The Match Cycling Challenge. In 2012, Bob rode a total of 5,000 miles for the cycling challenge, and as part of that, participated in the 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta.

Bob’s 2013 goal is to ride 6,000 miles, and the 202 miles he rode at the 24 Hours of Booty in Charlotte last month is all part of that goal. At age 56, Bob is aiming to add another 200 miles to his record at 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta from October 5-6.  He will ride again with Jay Gallagher’s team, Get in the Game: Save a Life.

“Some may think I am crazy but I believe that focus and determination can overcome many hurdles,” Bob said. “It took me 15 hours of riding to do the 202 miles (in Charlotte), I rode all night.”

Bob and his family have been greatly affected by cancer. His wife, Karen, is also a cancer survivor. Bob’s grandmother, mother, uncle, and Karen’s father all died from cancer.

“24 Hours of Booty is a great way to honor and support those going through cancer treatment, to remember those we have lost, and to provide hope,” Bob said. “It is also a lot of fun for riders of all levels. It will be one of the most memorable 24 hours you have ever spent.”

Story by Lindsay Assenmacher, Peloton Sports Inc.

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Finding Hidden Donors

This is second in a series written by Sweet Rides team members Tracy and Therese.  Thanks for sharing your fundraising wisdom! 

So you need to raise money. You have asked your parents, siblings and friends to donate and they are tapped out already. Your goal is in sight but seems so far away now. Strangers and acquaintances can now be your allies.

Donors can be found anywhere and everywhere. For example they can be found at your gym, grocery store, bank, salon, eye doctors and even parking lots.

Any business you frequent can become a place for potential donations. If you work in a building with other businesses, drop in the offices to see if you can leave a jar for donations and flyers about the event. They don’t have to do anything but provide a little bit of space and potential donors.

Working out with a trainer, you make sure they know what your physical goals are for the event.  Ask if they would like to donate. Getting your hair done talk about the event. Ask if they would like to donate. You’re getting your eyes checked. You tell you eye doctor about the event. Ask if they would like to donate. Have something about the event to give to them a card with the web address and your name. Thank them even if the only just listen, part of it is building relationships.

One of the main events that Tracy and I do throughout the spring, summer and fall is we have a table at our cities Friday Night Live event.  It is the first Friday of the month in our downtown area that is full of restaurants, music and entertainment.  We have partnered with a business that knows we will be there each month, out in front sharing our message.  We provide an activity for the kids (and adults), sometimes a raffle, and it gives us the opportunity to share with strangers and people we may not see often our message about 24 Hours of Booty.  We make a personal connection with them about their connection to cancer and invite them to ride, volunteer or make a donation in honor of someone.  Sometimes they throw some change in our bucket and sometimes they make larger donations, but we are building those relationships and sharing about LIVESTRONG and 24 Hours of Booty along the way.  We have found team members, corporate sponsors and volunteers at these events.  Each time we are there we walk away with something that makes it worth our time.

Be polite, friendly, make a connection and let the spirit of what you are trying to accomplish, getting rid of cancer and supporting the cancer community, speak volumes.  Take our fundraising ideas, find your own and find the hidden donors!!!!

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Team Mustang Strong

Heather and Lisa in Bootyville.

Heather and Lisa in Bootyville.

Lisa 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.  For 2013, Lisa is taking on a new challenge of recruiting her son and other individuals from his Sandy Springs high school to participate in 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta in October.

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.”

But 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.

Another mother from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Joy Carden, was so inspired by Lisa’s triathlon success that she signed up for 24 Hours of Booty to begin her training. She admitted that she had not ridden a bicycle since she was about 12 years old.  “(I told her) she could ride as little or as much as she wanted. It was on a safe, police-monitored, closed course and there would be all kinds of support in terms of bike maintenance, first aid, etc.”  Joy bought a bike and joined Lisa and her other triathlete friend, Heather Propst.

The three women participated in October 2012 with Team Pirate Treasure. For this year, 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.

Recruitment for Team Mustang Strong is in full swing to join Lisa and returning veteran Joy. Lisa’s 14-year-old son, Connor, will join her for the entire 24 hours at the team’s headquarters in Bootyville, on the campus of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.  Her son’s friend, John, has joined the team.  And there is momentum with new team members who include fellow triathlete and teacher, Mary Beth Struble, and two fathers from Mount Vernon, Paul Stupek and Graham Courtney, all avid cyclists.  Connor and John said they would be happy to ride the “night shift”, which is one of their main motivations to ride in the event.  The teens, as well as other riders, will enjoy a safe course throughout the night, and full sag support in the Bootyville area.

“I was so incredibly proud, but not at all surprised, to see how quickly our community came together to support 24 Hours of Booty at its inaugural debut at our campus.  All I can say is, as great as it was last year, just wait…the best is yet to come. Let’s ride!”

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Blood Drive This Friday!

Did you know that cancer patients are the #1 recipient of life-saving blood products? If you’re in Charlotte, come roll up your sleeves for the blood drive this Friday!  Sign up for a spot between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, then join us at the 24 Hours of Booty office for a light lunch. To make an appointment, log on to, click on donate, then enter the sponsor code: 24HRBooty.  You can also call the office at 704-365-4417 ext 116 and Jamie can help you make an appointment.  See you Friday!


Rider Kathi Lucchesi donates blood at the spring drive.


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Fundraising Tips from a Top Team

Tracy and Therese are longtime riders and top fundraisers for team Sweet Rides in Atlanta.  Over the next four weeks, they will share hands on fundraising advice that has worked for their team.  Today they talk about their team’s fundraising philosophy and how they make it fun. 

Fundraise off the Beaten Path

Hi, I am Tracy and I am a fundraising junkie.

Hi, I am Therese and I am a fundraising junkie too.

Both of Therese and I have been involved with 24 Hours of Booty since the first year in Atlanta.  We have done a little bit of everything at the event, but during the year we are fundraising junkies.  We have millions of ideas, we execute what we can, and most importantly we try to have a lot of fun and raise awareness and money! Both of us have had very close friends and family affected by cancer and we have found a way to give back and celebrate with 24 Hours of Booty and our team Sweet Rides. Little did we know we would love fundraising so much!

So how do you find what works for you?

Things to look at when you’re deciding how to fundraise.

1. What do you enjoy doing?
2. How much time you have?
3. What are your fundraising goals?

If you want to have even more fun, invite people to join you. They could be a teammate, someone from another team, even someone not riding that wants to help out.

What Do You Enjoy Doing?

We think this is so important. We know mostly families so many of our events are family related.  If you spend more time at work, then find a way to involve the people you work with.  If you participate in a sport or other activity, come up with something to involve that.  There are so many ideas, small and large, and sometimes you have to just decide to go for it! The first tool you should always us is the 24 Hours of Booty personal page, emails, personal letters and share on social media sites.

Here are some other ideas we brainstormed:

  • Bake Sale at Work or School (if you have kids in your front yard or at a yard sale)
  • Dinner Night with Raffle at Local Restaurant
  • Yard Sale (your family or make it big and include others)
  • Raffles (online or at events)
  • Donation that will honor someone – Tshirts, banners, bikes, jerseys
  • Bar or Pub Crawl
  • Bike Ride or other sporting event
  • Poker Tournament
  • Car Wash
  • Chili Cook Off
  • Corporate Donations or Sponsorships
  • Partner with a local business and see what ideas they have
  • Offering home cooked meals or doing odd jobs to friends and family that donate
  • Offer babysitting to families with kids for donations

If you think about what you enjoy, you can work fundraising around it and if you have fun, people will want to join in and donate money to this awesome cause!

How Much Time Do You Have?

When is the Event?  How much time can you invest? When we plan our events this is a big question. Your return for the investment of the event is the amount of money you raise and the connections you make. You have to look at the time you put in and what the donations may be.  You can find ways to cut down on the time and increase the donations, but sometimes you have to be creative.  If you want to plan a larger event, there is no reason not to start working on next year right now.

What are your Fundraising Goals?

Any event you plan it is always better to start small and grow the event each year.  Based on your goals you will decide on what you want to do to get there.  Being the fundraising junkies that we are, we are always looking for the next event we can do and we hold multiple events throughout the year. How can we help our teammates reach their goals? What can we do different next year? We not only focus on raising money, but also talking about bike safety, sharing the services LIVESTRONG provides to the cancer community, plus recruiting riders and volunteers for the event.

We’ll be here for the next month talking about fundraising.  We challenge you to start right now! In the next week go update your personal page on the 24 Hours of Booty website (if you haven’t already) and to find one thing you can do to jump start or finish up your fundraising! There are online tutorials to help you with this if you need help!  Just make sure to have fun and share in the comments what you are doing!!!  Let’s finish up September strong!

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“It is time to give up some booty!”

Diane HarderThese are the words of Diane Harder, who will be participating in 24 Hours of Booty Columbia with Team bootySTRONG. And as you can probably tell, Diane is more than ready for this year’s ride. In fact, this year’s ride will not be her first time participating in a 24 Hours Booty, as Diane has been an active participant for several years.

“I became involved in 24 Hours of Booty when they had their first event in Columbia,” Diane said. “At that particular time my sister-in-law’s brother was battling brain cancer. About one month before it took place I saw an ad for it in Spokes magazine - I signed up and was able to raise about $1,000 in a few weeks.”

The following year, Diane signed up again. She dedicated her ride to her sister-in-law’s brother, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer earlier that year. This year, Diane has a new mission. She will be riding in honor of her longtime friend and childhood neighbor, Lynn (Beck) Kammerer, who is currently fighting Stage IV cancer.

In April 2008, Lynn was diagnosed with rare type of cancer called adenocarcinoma. Doctors gave her an initial prognosis of five years (April 2013). Since that diagnosis, Lynn has undergone many surgeries and continues to undergo bi-weekly chemo, along with the recent addition of a new drug called irronitecan. Lynn’s positive attitude and strength during treatment has served as an inspiration to those close to her.

“What strikes me most about Lynn is her will to live every moment to its fullest, her beautiful smile, and her most positive attitude. She is a fearless woman,” Diane said.

Diane is passionate about helping Lynn prove the doctors wrong by surpassing and defeating her five-year prognosis. “Lynn once said to me, ‘Who knows maybe there will be a cure someday soon. I sure would like to be here when they find it!’ I believe Lynn deserves that chance – she is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a friend.”

This month, Diane, along with members of her team and hundreds of other riders and participants, will come together to take on the Booty Loop in support of friends, loved ones and all those affected by cancer.

“Together we will make a difference and help kick cancer in the butt,” Diane said.



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Calling all Atlanta & Columbia Riders – Enter to Win an REI Camping Package!

You like free stuff, huh? Yeah, we thought so. Who doesn’t love free loot?! That’s why 24 Hours of Booty is so excited to announce we will be awarding one lucky winner from Atlanta with an REI Kingdom 6 3-season tent, a weekend cooler and a TravelChair Easy Rider Chair and one lucky winner from Columbia will win an REI Alcove Shelter tent and windwalls!

Just imagine. You show up to 24 Hours of Booty, walk up with your bike to Bootyville and your tent is already set up for the event. You don’t have to haul anything over. You don’t have to set it up. Nothing. How do you make this happen, you ask?

It’s easy. To enter into the random drawing for this awesome prize from our friends at REI, just do one or both of the following by Sunday, August 11thth at midnight:

  1. Register to ride in 24 Hours of Booty and you automatically get one entry.
  2. Recruit a Friend. Get a friend to join your team and you will get one entry. Just reply to this email and let me know who you recruited!

Do both of the above and get two entries in the drawing!


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DC Fights Cancer with the Help of the Ulman Cancer Fund

24 Hours of Booty proudly partners with the Ulman Cancer Fund (UCF) to provide funding toward their Adolescent and Young Adult Patient Navigation Program (AYA) at Johns Hopkins University. Through this program, patients receive counseling to help them cope with the many medical, social and psychological issues that come with cancer diagnosis, as well as have access to specifically tailored support resources. Apart from their AYA program, UCF extends a helping hand to the greater DC area in the fight against cancer. Below is a list and brief description of the great programs and activities UCF has designed to serve and support cancer patients.

  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Patient Navigation Program (Bethesda, MD): The UCF Patient Navigation Program improves the ability of young adults to manage their own cancer experiences and long-term cancer survival.
  • Children’s National Medical Center Patient Navigation Program (Washington, D.C.): This is a new program that will include a navigator working within Children’s and a teen room.
  • CANCER to 5K DC & NoVA: A free, 12-week training program designed to introduce and re-introduce cancer patients and survivors to physical activity by providing them with engagement, guidance, and support necessary to completing a 5K-distance road race. Eighteen cancer survivors finished a 5K in downtown Washington, D,C, as graduates of the Spring Cancer to 5K program.
  • BOYAA DC: The Board of Young Adult Advisors (BOYAA) is a group of active, passionate young professionals working to support their peers impacted by cancer through philanthropy, community outreach, exciting events and unique volunteer service.
  • Helping Others Fight DC:  HOF participants directly support local cancer patients and their families in DC through volunteer service and companionship to ensure no young adult faces cancer alone.  Volunteers help drive patients to treatment, cook dinner, do yard work and more.
  • Patient Assistance Program: Offers up to $100/year to patients in the Maryland/DC/Virginia market experiencing financial hardship in the face of cancer treatment.
  • Fertility Assistance Program: Offers up to $200/year to patients in the Maryland/DC/Virginia market experiencing financial hardship related to fertility preservation in the face of cancer treatment.
  • College Scholarship Program: Offers 26 competitive college scholarship awards to young adults impacted by cancer pursuing higher education and experiencing financial need. Two of these scholarships are specific to a young adult living or attending school in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area.
  • 4K for Cancer Program: Engages college students from 60 campuses in the cancer fight through a cross-country bike ride and run.

For more information, visit


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Another 24 Hours of Booty of Charlotte for the Books!

What a weekend!  This is my sixth 24 Hours of Booty of Charlotte event. Hands down, it has been my favorite.  It is a special thing when 1,200 riders, 400 volunteers and thousands supporters come together under a common cause. Thanks to each and everyone one of you for helping raise more than $1.37 million to date. That means, we have collectively raised more than $10 million since the event’s inception 12 years ago!

A big thanks to our presenting sponsor and lead beneficiary, Levine Cancer Institute. They are a part of the DNA of our event. They have a team rides and also fundraises with the best of them. They put on a fantastic Bowling 4 Booty fundraising event. They have brought out their talented staff to help us all better understand where we are in this fight against cancer and provide information about the work they are doing every day in the trenches.

It was also just fantastic to be back home at Myers Park Traditional. The location doesn’t make an event, the people do. Still, you can’t beat bringing together the convenience of being at the school with the mission of 24 Hours of Booty. Just look at the start of the event—how fantastic were the Myers Park neighbors this year?!?  The parties were such a great way to kick off the event and just had another level of excitement to the event.

We had more than 400 volunteers come out to help out at the event. 400!! They brought so much energy to the event. I saw them out helping riders get water, passing out information about our beneficiaries and unloading cars at gear drop—they were doing it all!

We also had the support of our fabulous beneficiaries. The Survivorship Celebration to honor cancer survivors was just fantastic. Kelly Franson with WBTV moderated our amazing panel of speakers including Dr. Chasse Bailey-Dorton with Levine Cancer Institute, Moira Quinn of Charlotte CENTER CITY Partners and Colleen O’Farrell with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The celebration wrapped up with a graduation ceremony for members of Carolinas Cancer Wellness Program that is funded by 24 Hours of Booty.  Colleen from was also at the Haven of Hope almost the entire event talking about the work the LIVESTRONG Foundation does on behalf of survivors. Remember, if you have someone who is diagnosed with cancer, pass along their number 855.220.7777 They’re here to help.

Thanks to all of you who got swabbed and joined the Be the Match National Marrow Registry at the event. We added 51 people this year! This week, Libby Jones, a 3-year old will be getting a bone marrow transplant using a therapy that was initially funded by 24 Hours of Booty riders.  Please keep the Libby and Team LIBSTRONG in your thoughts and prayers this week. Getting swabbed and on the registry makes a huge difference.

We also appreciate our sponsors for going above and beyond in supporting this event. Check out the graphic below and if you have a chance, pop into their store and tell them thanks. I know they would love to hear your story.

There are so many people to thank for making this weekend so special. There are even more stories we could share that would fill a book that would inspire people year-round.  Above all, whether you stretched your fundraising or mileage goals, thank you all for going just a little bit more than you thought you could to honor your loved ones and support the mission of 24 Hours of Booty.

See you in 2014!


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