24 Foundation Indianapolis rider and board member, Ben Wilhelm, takes his level of commitment to new levels by participating in the event leading his friends and fellow co-workers on Team Structuremen and off the course giving back with his involvement on the organization’s Board of Directors.
“I live in Charlotte, but spent most of my life in Indianapolis, so I thought it would be cool to be a team captain in one of our expansion cities where I can help the event grow,” said Ben Wilhelm, captain of Team Structuremen.
He first rode in 24 Foundation as an individual participant a few years ago, but decided to lead Team Structuremen in Indianapolis and ride with Team Greer Walker Charlotte last year. Wilhelm also joined the 24 Foundation Board of Directors last year and was excited to get involved with an organization that allowed him to participate in two of his favorite cities.
“The idea of 24 Foundation spoke to me as my father died of throat cancer and three of my four brothers had cancer, one deceased,” Wilhelm said. “I have been a road cyclist for nearly 20 years, so this seemed like a great way to support the fight against cancer and promote survivorship.”
It wasn’t hard for Wilhelm to recruit his family members, friends and his Shiel Sexton co-workers to participate in the Indianapolis event since the course near Butler University is practically his old neighborhood. Their team name stems from the Shiel Sexton mascot, which is a Structureman, a three story steel sculpture of a super-hero construction guy affixed to their building on North Capitol in downtown Indianapolis.
“Because the Stuctureman is part of our corporate identity, it seemed like the team needed to pay respect to the athleticism and wisdom that is Structureman,” Wilhelm said.
It is the culture of Shiel Sexton to invest in the community where they do their business Team Structuremen have many members who are endurance athletes and also members who ride recreationally, but they all enjoy supporting an event as laid back as 24 Foundation.
Previously, the team collectively raised $5,500, but they plan to exceed this amount in 2015. The team may be planning an event this year that remains top secret, but their first goal is to grow the team’s ridership with the idea that the money will then follow.
Wilhelm personally rode 200 miles in the Indianapolis event last year. This year’s mileage goal will depend on his level of mental and physical motivation come this spring. He most enjoys the first lap around the loop, as well as hanging with friends, the environment, food and music. Having completed numerous marathons and triathlons, Wilhelm believes that 24 Foundation provides the most exceptional participant experience.
“I like the originality of the event, how Spencer Lueders started with the idea of just getting on the bike and riding the Booty Loop in Charlotte and it caught fire from there,” says Wilhelm. “The event really offers something different than any other cause-related event I have ever experienced.”