During National Volunteer Appreciation Week: The Pan Ohio Hope Ride is excited to THANK all of our volunteers that help put on this event each year. It takes an army of over 1,200 volunteers from Start to Finish to keep our riders SAFE. Often times our volunteers are cancer survivors/caregivers themselves which brings an added amount of MEANING to why our cyclists are pedaling and the cheering/motivation that our volunteers do provides a whole lot of FUN!
One volunteer, Barb Milter, embodies the Safe, Fun, and Meaningful mantra not only during the four days of the Pan Ohio Hope Ride each summer, but also 2 to 3 times a week as a year-round volunteer for POHR! Every packet, bib number, mailing, and supply bin has been put together by Barb Milter and our event wouldn’t succeed without her. We asked her to share “Why I Volunteer” and you can read her story below.
Barb: From all of us in the POHR community – we cannot thank you enough for all of the time and effort that you have given us!
A note from Barb Milter – 04.08.14:
Five years ago, at my place of employment, I had the privilege of speaking with Jim Bond on several occasions. He always spoke of a ride that he was training for. After a lengthy discussion, he had finally suggested that I look at the brochure, in the waiting room area. So I did.
Upon reading the brochure, I quickly went to the Pan Ohio Hope Ride website and signed up to become a volunteer. It was a spontaneous decision, not knowing too much about what was ahead of me.
Being the navigator in a SAG car is an amazing experience. Four days of driving alongside the riders, cheering them on, ringing the cowbell, checking to make sure that they don’t need water refills or anything else we have in the supply box, and making sure that they don’t miss a turn, is always well received by the riders. But more than anything they appreciate the support and encouragement we provide along the way. The camaraderie between the riders and volunteers is something that I have never witnessed anywhere else before. It’s just a real ‘feel good’ experience.
Over the years, I learned that POHR is not just a ride. The POHR raises money for the Hope Lodges in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Not just anyone can be a part of this, because it is more than ‘just a ride’. It is a ride for hope. The participants all have a friend, family member, co-worker, etc. that have been diagnosed with cancer. We are a group of people that will not settle for a simple plan of care – it is our goal to make sure that the patients get the very best care that is available to them. To see the riders pedal their hearts out as they remember who they are riding for is truly an emotional experience for me.
As I support the riders, I think of the many friends and family that I have lost to cancer. I also know many people who are currently being treated for cancer. While I do not ride a bicycle, I just know that giving my time to volunteer on this ride is something I can do to honor their survival or memory.
-Barb Milter – POHR Volunteer
Visit Here to sign up as a Volunteer for the American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride