SARASOTA, Fla. – The Team Tony Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free peer-to-peer cancer support and resources to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers in the local community, is celebrating one of its most successful years following the weekend of events associated with its most recent Cycle of Life fundraiser. The annual event raised $137,000 in donations this year, which will go toward supporting Team Tony ’s much-needed mission.
The Cycle of Life events took place between Oct. 13 – 15 and started with a “Jackets and Jeans Launch Party”, the official kick-off party for the weekend-long fundraiser, at Michael’s on East. Over 250 attended the event to show their support, and $45,000 was contributed from sponsorships, donations and the live and silent auctions.
Seventy-five riders, including the organization’s founder Tony McEachern, participated in the actual Cycle of Life ride, a 214-mile cycling journey that began in Sarasota at Nathan Benderson Park, took cyclists west to Sebring and then back east to Sarasota. Cyclists returned to Nathan Benderson Park on Sunday where friends and family were waiting to welcome them back.
“We are so appreciative to everyone who came out to support these fundraising events and our truly important mission,” said Sarasota resident McEachern, president and founder of the Team Tony Cancer Foundation. “It was an excellent weekend of riding, and thanks to the community and area businesses, we are still seeing donations come in.”
Following the ride, cyclists and their families and friends celebrated their accomplishments during the PGT Finish Line Party, hosted for the third year by PGT Custom Windows + Doors, a major supporter and sponsor.
“The finish line is by far the highlight of the event,” said McEachern, who participated in the ride for the eighth time on a tandem bicycle.
“PGT is proud to sponsor this event and support the Team Tony Cancer Foundation. The organization provides an incredibly valuable and unique service to residents of our community who are going through a very difficult time in their lives, and we are truly blessed to be able to support their efforts,” said Rod Hershberger, founder of PGT Custom Windows + Doors.
A 15-year brain cancer survivor and an avid cyclist, McEachern’s vision of creating a cancer support organization became a reality in 2010 when the Team Tony Cancer Foundation officially launched. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide free peer-to-peer cancer support and resources to fighters, survivors and caregivers to ensure no one in the local community faces cancer alone.
This year, the Team Tony Cancer Foundation has already provided more than $20,000 in gas cards, flights and other items related to treatment travel to cancer fighters. Funds raised are put toward helping people suffering from cancer who live in Florida’s Suncoast area.
About Tony McEachern
Tony McEachern, president and founder of the Team Tony Cancer Foundation, is a 15-year brain cancer survivor and an avid cyclist. In 2002, McEachern competed in the Raid Gauloises in Vietnam; a grueling 621-mile endurance race. One year later, in the midst of seemingly peak physical health, he was diagnosed with a Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma and was given two years to live. But McEachern took that diagnosis and battled through it as he did that extreme race. He fought through the pain and the desire to give up and endured. It’s been 14 years since his diagnosis, and McEachern is still here to share his story of fighting cancer.
In 2007, McEachern walked across Florida to raise money and awareness for cancer, but he wanted to do more to impact those battling cancer. So, in 2009, he walked from Durham, N.C. back home to Sarasota and raised $57,000 for Duke University to fund brain cancer research. His vision of creating a cancer support organization became a reality in 2010 when the Team Tony Cancer Foundation was officially launched with a mission to pair a cancer survivor with a support seeker so those diagnosed with cancer get the support they need.
About PGT Innovations
PGT Innovations, headquartered in North Venice, Florida, with approximately 2800 employees statewide, creates value through deep customer relationships, understanding the unstated needs of an industry, a drive to create the strongest, safest products on the market, and a commitment to always moving forward. The Company’s trusted brands include CGI®, PGT® Custom Windows & Doors, and WinDoor®. PGT Innovations is the nation’s largest manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors, holds the leadership position in its primary market, and is part of the S&P SmallCap 400 Index. For additional information, visit www.pgtinnovations.com.