After spin instructor Janet Cheveres began to realize that many of her students were either breast cancer survivors, currently battling it or have family doing so, she decided she wanted to help fight it.
That’s when she created Ride for a Cure, an event held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to raise funds to benefit the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center.
On Oct. 18, dozens attended the annual event, riding spin bikes in the parking lot at Santa Clarita Athletic Center for two hours while DJ Anthony blasted feel-good music.
“I love my people, so this is a little party for them, and it goes towards those in need,” Cheveres said.
Riders donned their best pink attire, many complete with tutus, headbands and pink ribbons, including Sharon Needles, who was covered head to toe in pink clothing and accessories.
“My mom was diagnosed in 2011,” Needles said. “This is just such a fun way to celebrate that she’s now cancer-free and raise money at the same time — I love it.”
Participants were able to obtain sponsors, who pledged donations, and purchase tickets for the raffle, all of which are expected to be donated to the center.
“We use all the money that’s donated to help pay for services in the breast center for women who don’t have insurance or who are underinsured,” said Mari Shay, manager and nurse at the center.
Last year, Cheveres raised more than $11,000, but this year, she’s hoping to beat last year and raise that number to more than $12,000.
“It’s all Janet, she’s the master,” said Laura Chesler, the annual giving officer for the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation. “Right after the first one, she walked into the office of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, which is a service of Henry Mayo, and she said, ‘I had a little event and I want to make a donation for breast cancer,’ — and she gave us $8,000.”
Chesler then contacted Cheveres and told her they’d like to partner with her. “Since then, it’s been a beautiful relationship, and every year, she raises more money. We are so grateful for her. She is one of our biggest donors and we could not do this without her.”