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AEP employees ride to beat cancer

by on July 9, 2014
The 2012 AEP Energizers for a Cure peloton unites in defiance of cancer.

(Story by Barry Schumann)

More than 40 AEP employees from across Ohio have exactly one month left to prepare for their ride to end cancer. They invite colleagues, friends and family to join them or support their efforts to fund cancer research through Pelotonia 2014.

“For those people who need it (a cure), Pelotonia is pretty important,” said cancer survivor Penny Dornette, IT systems analyst.

Pelotonia is a grassroots bike tour in Ohio with one goal: to end cancer. The August ride for cyclists of all ages and skill levels has raised more than $61 million for cancer research over five years, including $460,000 raised by the AEP Energizers for a Cure peloton. Every dollar raised goes to fund essential, life-saving research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“Organizations like Pelotonia are critical to finding cures,” said John Huneck, managing director, Strategic Initiatives. “Cures take plenty of research and research is expensive.”

“…(I)t’s those strides in research they are making that will hopefully one day eradicate this disease,” added survivor Carole Myser, manager, Transmission Settlements.

Through the years, the AEP peloton has included employees from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, family and friends from as far away as Wyoming, and even a business associate hailing from Sweden. Donations have come from employees throughout the System.

“It’s a peloton, it’s a group effort…6,000-plus riders with one goal: that’s to end cancer,” said Ed Schnell, director, Transmission Dispatching, and a Community Champ for the AEP peloton.

Members of the AEP peloton encourage AEP employees to join the effort to conquer cancer in whatever manner best suits them.“Pelotonia offers an array of opportunities for people to participate,” said Julie Sloat, senior vice president and treasurer and an Executive Champ for the AEP peloton. Individuals can join the AEP peloton, make a donation on behalf of a rider or of the AEP peloton, or volunteer with the Pelotonia organization to help make the event a success for all riders.

All AEP peloton riders will receive a newly designed AEP cycling jersey. AEP virtual riders — those who are unable to ride but commit to raise at least $150 — will have the option of receiving a “classic” jersey from available AEP and Pelotonia designs and sizes on a first-come, first-served basis.

Employees can visit the Pelotonia and AEP Energizers for a Cure websites to learn more about the event, register as a rider or virtual rider, volunteer, or make a donation. Employees who register should contact AEP peloton captain and Community Champ Nathan Long, Muskingum River Plant manager, to be added to the AEP peloton.

“If you can ride, great! If you can volunteer, great! If you can contribute, great! If you can be out there cheering and just be a part of it, great!“ said Schnell. “It’s really something you’ll never forget.”

The ride Aug. 9-10 departs from central Ohio and extends 25-to-180 miles over one or two days depending on the rider’s choice. The AEP Foundation is a sponsor of the event.

“It’s a win-win-win; there’s no downside,” said Mark McCullough, executive vice president, Generation, and an Executive Champ of the AEP peloton. “Millions and millions of dollars are raised.”


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