Dolphins Cycling Challenge Raises $2.2 Million for Cancer Research at Sylvester

As scores of participants in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge formed the shape of a bicycle on the field of Sun Life Stadium, the Miami Dolphins presented a check for $2.2 million from the event to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center before Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The gift, the largest single-event donation made by any NFL team and one of the largest in Sylvester’s history, was raised by 2,000 cyclists – some of them virtual – who participated in the third annual tri-county ride on November 3-4. All proceeds will support cancer research at Sylvester.

“This is a project that truly does impact our entire community. I think that’s one reason I take such great pride in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge,” said Miami Dolphins Chairman Stephen M. Ross, who noted that in three years the challenge has cumulatively raised $3.8 million for cancer research and treatment that will help save lives in South Florida. “Reflecting upon these past few years, it is remarkable to see what the DCC and its riders have accomplished in such a short period of time, and I’m proud and honored to be a part of this new South Florida tradition.”

Ross, Dolphins Vice Chairman Jorge Perez, Dolphins Cycling Challenge CEO Michael Mandich and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee were all on hand to present the check during a pre-game ceremony at Sun Life Stadium to UM President Donna E. Shalala, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Sylvester Director Stephen Nimer, M.D. Also on hand for the presentation were State Senator Oscar Braynon II and Miami-Dade County Commissioners José “Pepe” Diaz, Audrey Edmonson and Sally A. Heyman.

“The DCC is a wonderful gift to our community,” President Shalala said. “The Miami Dolphins are true champions in the fight against cancer and we thank them for their partnership and extraordinary dedication to the people of South Florida.”

At the on-field presentation, Commissioner Diaz declared November 25, 2012, the Third Annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge Day, handing an official proclamation to President Shalala.

The charity event, which follows a 170-mile route across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, was established by the Dolphins in 2010 to increase cancer awareness, encourage healthy hobbies, and raise money for Sylvester. By working directly with the cancer center, the DCC ensures that 100 percent of rider-raised funds remain in South Florida.

Accepting the check on behalf of the cancer center, Nimer thanked everyone involved in the event, from the Miami Dolphins to the riders and volunteers. “This check is a huge boost for us and will go directly to research and help us take care of patients in a better way,” said Nimer, who came from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to lead Sylvester six months ago. He added that the funds raised “will make advances that will save the lives of people in this community.”

“The money raised by the DCC will directly help to save lives in South Florida,” said Mandich, the son of Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, the Dolphins alumnus and sportscaster who died from bile duct cancer five months after the inaugural ride. “Having experienced the devastation that cancer can wield, it is great to know that we can rely on a first-class cancer center in our own backyard. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will use these funds for research in the pursuit of finding a cure, and without all of the dedicated riders, sponsors and volunteers this would not be possible.”

In addition to the riders, this year’s ride was made possible by generous sponsors who lent their support to staging the event over two days across South Florida. They included Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer, Mack Cycle, South Florida Ford, Sun Life Financial, Publix, Alex’s Place, Giant Bicycles, Berkowitz Pollack Brant, Harcourt M. & Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, Stearns Weaver, Lennar and WFOR-CBS4.

Funds raised by the Dolphins Cycling Challenge support Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, which seeks to advance learning, elevate scholarship, and make bold strides in health care in the community, across the country, and around the world.

For more information about the Dolphins Cycling Challenge, please visit Dates for next year’s ride will be announced sometime in the spring.

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