Bright and early on Saturday, September 15th, a group of RRT volunteers arrived at the Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, MN, eager to begin set-up for the Purple Ride Stride Event. With temperatures predicted to rise over 90 degrees and with an estimated 2,000 participators to attend the Pancreatic Cancer bike ride/run, RRT volunteers got to work straight away unloading water bottles and setting up tents for the day’s events. At 7:30, the first bikers started rolling in. Time for RRT to step in and organize the logistics!
Three RRT members started guiding in traffic and directed attendees where to park in the general parking lot. They played an integral role in ensuring there were no spare parking spaces because as the day moved on, attendees had to begin parking at an offsite lot. Two RRT members were stationed at the offsite lot to help participators in the Ride & Stride event board the buses that were shuttling them over to the Elm Creek Park. When the bus passengers arrived at the event, RRT was there to greet them with a smile and direct them to the starting line and where the ceremony was taking place.
RRT also assisted in the safety of the bikers with two volunteers stationed at the crossroads of a busy road that intersected the path where the bikers were to cross. They stepped up stopping traffic and preventing any biker injuries by making sure the route was clear before allowing cars to continue.
Handing out water to a young participant
Many attendees to the Cancer Run were survivors or those going through chemotherapy for their pancreatic cancer. RRT was in charge of guiding these VIP attendees to a special parking lot set aside for these cancer warriors and arranging their ride up the hill to the ceremony, honouring these people for the fight for survival. At the start/finish line several RRT volunteers were stationed to hand out cold water bottles and encourage the attendees participating in the bike or walk.
RRT volunteer hydrating the cyclists
Michael Kappel, the Purple Ride Stride coordinator, who hosts this event every year in honor of his father who passed away from pancreatic cancer, stated that the RRT volunteers were a gift to his event and were responsive and compassionate. RRT volunteers greatly appreciate the work that Michael and the wider community put in to hosting this event to give pancreatic cancer survivors and their families an event to celebrate, as well as families who have lost loved ones due to the disease an event for remembrance. RRT was honored to be a part of the event and is looking forward to next year!