CoverMyMeds Riders Commit to Helping End Cancer with Pelotonia
For CoverMyMeds’ employees, the annual Pelotonia fundraiser is practically synonymous with their day job. CoverMyMed’s Pelotonia participation is the company’s longest-running — and most engaged with — volunteer and philanthropic activity by employees. This year’s race is a welcome return to the beloved fundraiser and cycling-wellness event.
When Whitney Tetrault joined CoverMyMeds as a solution engineer two years ago, she discovered an opportunity to connect with new coworkers while volunteering for an important cause. She pledged to ride 45 miles with Team CoverMyMeds during the annual Pelotonia cycling fundraiser to help cancer research at the Ohio State University.
“Cancer has likely impacted each of us, and with every dollar I raise or mile I ride, I hope that one less person will feel that impact,” said Whitney, who is team captain for the 2021 CoverMyMeds’ Pelotonia fundraiser and who rides in honor of friends and family who are survivors and coworkers who are currently battling cancer. “Every aspect of our team’s participation is rewarding, knowing that the money we raise goes directly to life-saving research.”
Team CoverMyMeds is now training and fundraising for Pelotonia 2021, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8. To date historically, through fundraising and an employer match, Team CoverMyMeds has raised $684,944 for life-saving cancer research.
“I am so proud of the impact we've had to date and will continue to have for years to come,” Whitney said, expressing her thanks to colleagues who take part in Pelotonia every year.
As of today, Team CoverMyMeds is more than a quarter of the way toward meeting its 2021 Pelotonia fundraising goal of $150,000.
How to take part in Pelotonia 2021 with Team CoverMyMeds
Whitney encourages colleagues to donate to Team CoverMyMeds’ Pelotonia 2021, join as a team rider or volunteer.
Beginning Aug. 4 and throughout the week, what’s known to Pelotonia participants as Ride Week, Team CoverMyMeds will host our annual live and silent auctions. In the past, we’ve offered prizes like a trip with senior leaders to Rockmill Brewery near Lancaster, Ohio, or a catered dinner at your home via the culinary team. This is one of the team’s biggest fundraisers of the Pelotonia season, and all employees are invited to join.
Those interested in a more active role on Team CoverMyMeds can join the team by visiting pelotonia.org and registering with their email. Once they’ve set up an account, they can choose whether to take part as a rider, volunteer or challenger (for those who face barriers to riding in person or prefer to select their own activities and fundraising goals). Early in the registration process, enter CoverMyMeds when asked to select which Peloton.
Riders can choose rides of varying distances, with varying fundraising commitments. Options range from the Saturday 20-mile ride from Columbus to New Albany with a $1,250 fundraising commitment, up to two-day, 200-mile rides with a $3,000 fundraising commitment.
Volunteering along the route and during ride kick-off events is another choice for those who want to contribute to Pelotonia. Photographers, first aid and mechanical volunteers and a host of other volunteers are still needed for 3.5-plus-hour shifts during ride weekend.
Challengers fundraise by setting their own activities and goals. For example, a challenger might pledge to fundraise by choreographing a TikTok video to cheer-on Team CoverMyMeds on social media. Or a challenger might commit to send greeting cards to patients at The James hospital. Challengers commit to raise at least $100 through their personalized activities.
In fact, this is one of Whitney’s favorite parts of Pelotonia: The creativity her “amazingly talented” colleagues bring to their fundraising. Some make pottery, bake, knit blankets or find other meaningful ways to express their gratitude to the donors who sponsor their rides. Pelotonia seems to bring everyone’s best personal qualities to light.
“Your participation or your contributions, regardless of size, are so appreciated and essential in the fight to find a cure and end cancer,” Whitney said. Team CoverMyMeds will post information and updates about Pelotonia 2021 events in Confluence and Slack in the weeks leading up to Ride Week.
Every aspect of our team’s participation is rewarding, knowing that the money we raise goes directly to life-saving research.
Overcoming the challenges of 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Pelotonia 2020 organizers to replace in-person events with virtual cycling and other remote physical activities tied to fundraising goals. While CoverMyMeds team members missed the in-person ride weekend, they found positive ways to turn the new format into an advantage for employee engagement, like through a fully virtual race and an employee talent show of sorts through video conferencing.
“Not having a ride challenged us to engage with our members in a new way at a time when people needed it most,” Whitney said. “We always have plans to retain existing riders, recruit new riders, expand our volunteer efforts and deliver the best experience for every member of our Peloton.”
A record number of team members took part in the 2020 virtual ride, raising $133,991.94. Of the 160 CoverMyMeds Team members who took part in last year’s Pelotonia, 11 are cancer survivors.
Every year, Team CoverMyMeds’ goal is the same: To raise as much money as possible to end cancer and have fun doing it.
“Every aspect of my participation is rewarding, knowing that the money I raise goes directly to life-saving research,” Whitney said. As team captain, she's enjoyed leading her coworkers to achieving those same goals.
Driven by core values and a common cause
A “peloton” is a pack of cyclists who ride close to conserve energy and make greater progress than riding alone. As a fundraiser to fight cancer, Pelotonia was conceived around the idea that when a team aligns their energies behind the right strategies, exponential progress can be made.
Pelotonia has generated more than $217 million for cancer research since it was founded in 2008 around the mission to “engage, inspire and challenge a community committed to changing the world by accelerating innovative cancer research.”
One-hundred percent of funds raised by Team CoverMyMeds are invested in Ohio State University’s James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute for cancer research — research that saves lives in the communities where we live, work and volunteer.
CoverMyMeds’ Pelotonia fundraising reflects the collective commitment of our employees and leadership team to making the world a better place. Our fundraising efforts over the years show that no matter the challenges that arise, a motivated team can combine individuals’ unique talents in the selfless pursuit of progress.
“A crucial part of CoverMyMeds is our core values,” Whitney said. “Pelotonia is one area where I consistently see each of them demonstrated.”
Being selfless, embracing challenges and giving back are essential to our culture, as is clear in the donations and employee volunteer hours logged every year during Pelotonia. Although Team CoverMyMeds will begin tracking Pelotonia volunteer hours in 2021, Whitney said the event drives a significant portion of the 5,769 volunteer hours logged in the community to-date by employees.
“By participating in the CMM Peloton as a donor, fundraiser, rider, volunteer or challenger, you are giving people who are impacted by cancer the opportunity to have a different ending to their story, one that is victorious and full of celebration,” Whitney said.
Want to help? Here’s how to support Team CoverMyMeds in Pelotonia 2021.