A Letter from Katy Ryan, Our Executive Director

We were thrilled to announce the arrival of our new executive director, Katy Ryan, in early October. Katy brings experience, enthusiasm, and excitement to 24 Foundation, and we can’t wait for you to meet her. Below is a letter from Katy.

I just fell for the 7th time in a row. My heart pounded as I tried to make it happen this time, the phrase ‘get up, come on, no quitting’ reverberating in my head. That was 1981 in my hometown of Ketchikan, Alaska. I had a banana seat bike with sparkly tassels, and I challenged myself to ride a whole block solo. I was on a mission. I’m pretty sure Spencer Lueders felt the same way on that first 24 Hours of Booty lap in 2002, sans tassels, but just as motivated and inspired to finish what he started.  

I was there for the first Booty with the tiny little tent on Selwyn Avenue in front of Queens University. I made my $20 contribution as Spencer circled in purposeful 3-mile loops. In the years since, I’ve observed as 24 Foundation evolved into a leading organization that provides critical support and hope for our cancer communities. During that same period, I’ve lost close family members, friends and coworkers to this terrible disease. I’ve watched my father undergo grueling treatment. My story is not an unusual one. We are all connected by cancer.  

It’s been my honor to serve as vice chair of the 24 Foundation board of directors and now executive director of the 24 team. I’ve heard so many extraordinary stories from riders, walkers, volunteers, and grant recipients. They aren’t just about the ride or walk. They’re about the connectedness and strength we have through our shared experiences and efforts. They are stories of healing begun, friendships made, and doors opened. This is why we do what we do. Thank you for joining us in the journey.

Katy Ryan
Executive Director