Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Cal-Giant women Meredith Miller and Teal Stetson-Lee have been sporting a different kit from their male teammates this season. The pink isn’t just the women’s version of the uniform – they’re sporting the special skinsuits to benefit their sponsor’s Breast Cancer fundraising efforts, and now Miller is going one step beyond and starting a charity initiative of her own. Look for more upcoming columns from Meredith Miller documenting her season in the US and Europe right here!
by Meredith Miller
Back in the spring Anthony Gallino, director of the Cal Giant-Specialized cyclocross team [see CXM's interview with Gallino and profile of the team], asked me if I wanted to wear pink during the month of October to help support the Cal Giantʼs “Think Pink” campaign — the company has committed to donating $10,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and money raised from the purchase of the California Giant berries in October contribute to that donation. I thought it was a fantastic idea and immediately told him I was on board. I was also speaking on behalf of my teammate, Teal, who is wearing pink alongside me.
Initially the idea was to simply wear a pink skinsuit in honor of breast cancer awareness, but as the cyclocross season and the month of October crept closer, I started thinking pink in several different ways. It wasn’t just about wearing a pink skinsuit – that seemed too easy – so I started thinking about the bigger picture and how I could further contribute to the cause. Thatʼs when, with the help of some friends, I started the “Pretty in Pink” fundraiser to benefit Hope Lives!, The Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Foundation. Hope Lives! is a Ft Collins-based non-profit breast cancer foundation that provides complimentary care and lifestyle support to breast cancer patients throughout their breast cancer treatment.
As part of my fundraising efforts, Iʼve teamed up with two companies in Ft Collins, Backcountry Provisions and Full Cycle, to host an auction on October 20th at Backcountry Provisions. Weʼve asked for product donations from local, national and international businesses. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response. Cyclocross Magazine has gotten in on the action providing us with a cowbell, stickers, a complete box set of back issues, and a 4-year subscription – thatʼs huge!! The list of items being donated has become so large we have decided to put items up for auction online to make sure we raise as much money as possible to give to the foundation – 100% of the money raised will go to Hope Lives!
The details of the event on October 20th along with a complete list of businesses donating items to the auction can be found on my website. Details of the online auction are still being finalized. Stay tuned to my website, Facebook and Twitter for more information to come soon.
The final event of breast cancer awareness month will be a “Celebrity Spin Fundraiser” at Become Fit in Ft Collins. I’ll lead a spin class for those who are tough enough to join and who want to give to something to the community by helping the approximately 150 women battling breast cancer on a monthly basis in Larimer County and Windsor, CO, to receive complete post-diagnosis support and care.
So far this month I have raced five times (with four more races to go) in my pink kit, and every time Iʼve pulled on my skinsuit I have felt fortunate to be in a position to help raise awareness and money for such a worthy cause. I also want to express my deep gratitude to those who have contributed to the cause by donating money to the fundraiser or items to the auction. I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when all the money has been raised and counted and I get the gratifying opportunity to present Hope Lives! with the check that will provide women with the emotional, physical and spiritual support they need to fight this terrifying disease.