Upper Arlington News

Stefanie’s Team of Hope is top peloton fundraiser for third year

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Members of Stefanie’s Team of Hope, named for the late Stefanie Spielman, comprised the highest non-corporate fundraiser for Pelotonia 2012, bringing in more than $365,000. All money raised in the annual charity bike ride goes to cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

An Upper Arlington-based peloton of more than 145 members formed in Stefanie Spielman’s name was the highest non-corporate fundraiser in 2012 for the third year running.

Stefanie’s Team of Hope recently announced it raised more than $365,000 for Pelotonia 12, a charity bicycle ride held in August to raise money for cancer research at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and the Solove Research Institute at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

The feat brought the team’s three-year total to more than $822,000.

It also positions Stefanie’s Team of Hope to break the $1-million mark in 2013 as it continues to carry out its mission to fight cancer in the name of Stefanie Spielman, who passed away in November 2009 at the age of 42 after battling breast cancer five times.

“It’s always humbling to see people believe in what the (Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research) and the leadership of that fund,” Chris Spielman said of the fund named for his late wife. “I know this is exactly what Stefanie envisioned.”

Overall, Pelotonia 12 raised more than $16.8 million in 2012. Its four-year fundraising total exceeds $42 million.

Stefanie’s Team of Hope was organized three years ago by Shannon Peterson, who stepped into the role of a cancer research crusader after becoming friends with Stefanie and the Spielman family years ago.

Peterson said Stefanie Spielman’s courage and commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer and other forms of the disease was a “life-changing moment” which inspired her to join various committees connected with the Spielmans’ fundraising efforts and those taking place at Ohio State.

“(Stefanie) continued to introduce me to key people in the cancer community and different organizations and fundraising events,” Peterson said. “Stefanie wanted a cure for all cancers.

“She left us a message to continue to fight. Her dream was one day to live in a cancer-free world, and after she passed away, I wanted to honor her.”