Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown’s BellRinger Bike Ride for Cancer Raises Over $1.2 Million


Georgetown students and faculty and D.C. community members raised over $1.2 million for cancer research in the second annual BellRinger Gear Up: End Cancer fundraiser Oct. 21. 

The funds will go toward curing and treating cancer and promoting healthcare equity at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a U.S. News-ranked top 50-ranked cancer research center at the Georgetown University Medical Center, which organized the event. During the event, over 900 total riders representing 157 teams biked 25, 50 or 100 miles, depending on their choice and the amount they fundraised, beginning on Georgetown’s campus and ending in either Glen Echo, Md., or Urbana, Md. 

This year’s BellRinger fundraising will continue until December, aiming to beat the $1.45 million the event raised last year for brain cancer, colorectal cancer and cancer cell biology research at the Lombardi Center. Each rider committed to raise between $1,000 and $1,500 to participate in the bike ride, with an option for students to raise only $500.

Chris Timko (SFS ’15), BellRinger’s executive director, said BellRinger allows Georgetown students to contribute to the community as the event’s mission goes beyond the front gates. 

Instagram/@ridebellringer | Georgetown students and faculty and D.C. community members raised over $1.2 million for cancer research in the second annual BellRinger Gear Up to End Cancer fundraiser on Oct. 21.

“We look to spread our mission to people who just hate cancer and want to do their part in making a difference,” Timko wrote to The Hoya. “Riding a bike 25, 50, or 100 miles is a challenge even for the most experienced cyclist. But the challenge of riding is a fraction of what a cancer patient undergoes during treatment.”

This year’s event included over 600 community riders beyond the Georgetown students and 53 teams representing non-Georgetown affiliated corporations, according to Alyssa Bielinski, BellRinger’s manager of marketing and ride operations. 

Georgetown students represented some of the largest teams in the race, including the largest team, Team Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp). Team SigEp, with 54 riders, raised $32,838 for Lombardi. 

Team Immunotherapy, the team supporting cancer immunotherapy research at Lombardi, raised $67,836, the most of any team, despite having only 22 riders.

Jack DosSantos (CAS ’27) rode 100 miles as part of Team SigEp. DosSantos said he raised over $1,000 and anticipates the number will keep growing. 

DosSantos said riding in the fundraiser event was one of his best experiences at Georgetown because he rode with friends for a good cause.

“BellRinger was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had at Georgetown so far,” DosSantos told The Hoya. “The energy was really good, so it was really awesome.”

DosSantos said he decided to ride in honor of his grandmother, who had breast cancer. 

“My grandmother had breast cancer twice and survived both times,” DosSantos said. “That was something that was in the back of my mind as I rode. BellRinger has a personal meaning to me.”

Timko said that community involvement in BellRinger continues to grow, demonstrating not only Bellringer’s success but also the strong desire to help others and find a cure for cancer. 

“Cancer doesn’t stop, and neither does the BellRinger community,” Timko wrote. “After increased engagement from Georgetown faculty, staff, and students to an upkeep in community and corporate engagement, BellRinger has proved to be a uniting movement that brings together people from all walks of life who are passionate about ending cancer in their community.”

Rachel Son (SOH ’25), one of the 475 volunteers who helped run BellRinger, said BellRinger is a uniting cause within the Georgetown community.

“Bellringer is a really powerful event. Cancer is an illness that has affected pretty much everyone I know in some capacity, and it is also something that brings people together,” Son wrote to The Hoya. “BellRinger gives the Georgetown community an opportunity to be a part of a really impactful movement. I’ve had a ton of friends who rode in the actual race and many others who volunteered at various points throughout the weekend.”

Son said BellRinger reminded her that she was not alone in her personal experiences with family members fighting cancer. 

“Seeing a family member fight cancer can be a really devastating experience,” Son wrote. “Standing at BellRinger, I was reminded that I wasn’t alone in that experience and that there is a community we can rely on to encourage one another.”  

Timko said he sees BellRinger growing in the future. 

“Come 2024, our aspirations to grow and engage even more members of the community will take flight,” Timko wrote. “We plan to see increased engagement across the community and through our corporate partnerships and an increased growth in participation across the Hoya community.”

“As more people join in, we hope that our impact on the work done at Georgetown Lombardi will continue to increase, helping to ensure that no family ever has to face a cancer diagnosis,” Timko added. 

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