Almost everyone has known or has been directly effected by cancer. And that thought, as well as becoming more physically fit, has led one Newcomerstown woman to take on the challenge of riding in the Pelotonia.
Pelotonia is a community of bicyclists and volunteers working together to raise money with the common goal of ending cancer. The ride starts in Columbus and travels to Kenyon College in Gambier. However, bicyclists have the choice as to how many miles they would like to travel on the course.
For Newcomerstown native Deb Heifner, she will be traveling 25 miles on the stretch from Columbus to Pickerington (of course, on back roads). However, with that commitment of 25 miles, comes also a commitment of $1,250 she needs to raise before the event Aug. 10-12. In its first three years, the Pelotonia has raised over $25,000,000 for cancer research.
Her team, the Huntington Bank Akron/Canton team since she works for the Huntington Bank branch in Giant Eagle in Dover, has approximately 25 members. However, she hasn't trained with them and admits that she hasn't been on a bike in 12 years but is determined to do this.
"It'll be fun," she said. "I'm pumped to do this."
Huntington Bank has paid for all team members' registration fees of $100 each but each team member has to raise money towards their goal (which is based on the number of miles they will be riding -- the more miles to be ridden, the more money needs to be raised).
For Heifner, she will be raising $1,250.
She is planning a vendor party on Saturday, July 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Newcomerstown in order to raise money. Vendors with the following products, The Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Scentsy, Thirty-one, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Velata, Paparazzi, Premier Jewelry, Jamberry Nails and Sew Baby Boutique, will be on-hand and will be donating their proceeds to Heifner's goal for Pelotonia.
Heifner also plans on sending letters and asking for support. But, individuals may also donate to Heifner's goal by visiting Pelotonia.org and specify donation for "Deb Heifner." If she can't raise all of the money needed, she will be required to pay the remainder. Therefore, she is truly looking for the community's support in her venture.
"It's really exciting, there are going to be thousands of riders at this event," she said.
Her determination, as well as encouragement from her husband, Bob, in thinking that there is someone out there with cancer that wishes they could do this (bike ride) and her inner strength from God is propelling her to finish the 25-mile ride.
"I'm having a good time," she said. "It's getting me off the couch. It's fun. You just feel free on the bike."