When you join the 24 Foundation Team bootySTRONG you can expect some basic benefits – a team T-shirt, a team jersey and you even get a team nickname. You can also expect to be inspired. You can expect to meet some of the best people you’ll have in your life. You can expect to have a group that will cheer you on, through the ups and downs in life. At the helm of this group dedicated to the fight cancer is Bryan McMillan of Columbia, Md.
“We are there for each other through the good and the bad,” Bryan said. “It is a wonderful support system and as I always say, we put the ’fun’ in dysfunctional.”
Team bootySTRONG welcomes riders of all ages and abilities with a sense of humor and a singular cause to kick cancer’s booty. Collectively, the team has directly dealt with the impact of cancer—losing parents, friends, teammates and loved ones over the years. Bryan and his team members find the first lap of 24 Foundation, the Survivor Lap, to be the one of the most rewarding parts about riding in 24 Foundation.
“Seeing survivors out on the course is always so humbling and is a terrific reminder to all of us as to why we do what we do,” Bryan said. “It also serves as a means to keep us focused, no matter what the course (or Mother Nature) throws at us. What we face is so much easier than what the survivors face each and every day.”
Fundraising is at the heart of Team bootySTRONG’s mission to fight cancer. Individually, Bryan sets a goal of $4,000 for himself each year and a goal of $50,000 for the team. They employ a variety of fundraising approaches from team events to social media use.
In addition, Team bootySTRONG gained a wealth of knowledge on how to get businesses excited to support the mission from co-captain Rhonda Workman. In 2011, they introduced sponsorship levels for businesses to advertise their logos onto team T-shirts and jerseys. In addition, their business sponsors have been very generous in donating items for Team bootySTRONG’s annual live music and silent auction to make the event a great success.
Each year in Bootyville, team bootySTRONG makes an Honor and Memory wall display to remind each and every rider why they are out there riding through the night and to ensure that the memories of their loved ones live on. It brings Bryan and his team members solace knowing that their messages are heard. The messages donors share on their personal pages are most moving to them.
“I love everything about 24 Foundation,” Bryan said. “I think folks interested in participating should not just focus on one aspect; it truly is an overall experience. I love riding because you have the opportunity to interact with so many folks and hear amazing stories of survivorship, of loss, of grief and of determination.”
24 Foundation has become an integral part of Bryan’s life and the main energy vehicle in his battle against cancer. Bryan’s passion for 24 Foundation has become widely known to where when he is out at local stores people recognize him from his many Booty branded clothing items and come up to him and say, “oh you’re ‘Bryan the Booty Man!’”