This year, for their Cruisin' For A Cause trip, Holly Warlick, the associate head coach at Tennessee, and Nikki Caldwell, the head coach at UCLA, have their collective sights set on a ride to Niagara Falls, N.Y., with stops along the way in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
"Our goal is pretty simple," said Warlick, a Knoxville native and former Lady Vol point guard. "We want to ride thousands of miles to raise thousands of dollars to recruit thousands of people to join the fight against breast cancer."
Also a passionate crusader for breast cancer awareness and research, Caldwell, a native of Oak Ridge and former Lady Vol player and assistant coach, noted, "More than 185,000 women are diagnosed and more than 41,000 women die from breast cancer every year. This ride is one of our advocacy efforts to encourage the health community to advance their work on finding a cure for this life threatening illness."
Kicking off Cruisin' For A Cause is Knoxville's local fundraising event, the TaTa Tour on Saturday, May 8.
Warlick and Caldwell are inviting local motorcyclists to join them on a short ride beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern at the Wild Wing Café (Campbell Station Road, off Interstate 40), including a special stop at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame at 10:45 a.m.
Following the ride, participants and supporters are welcome to join Warlick and Caldwell back at the Wild Wing Café at approximately 12:30 p.m. Eastern for the TaTa Tour Celebration. Slots are limited for the Knoxville ride, and online registration is encouraged (see links at the bottom of this story).
Following the TaTa Tour ride, Warlick and Caldwell, along with the Cruisin' Crew, an entourage of supporters, will hop back on their bikes at 1:45 p.m. at Wild Wing Café to start the first leg of the 2010 Cruisin' For A Cause, an 1,850-mile round-trip to Niagara Falls and back.
The motorcycle ride will begin in Knoxville and the crew will stop to host fundraisers and meet fans along the route, including planned events in Washington D.C. (Wellness Community National Headquarters) on Monday, May 10; in New York City (ABC's Good Morning America, St. Jude Children's Hospital and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) on Tuesday, May 11; at the U.S. Military Academy on Wednesday, May 12, and in Niagara Falls, N.Y. on Thursday, May 13.
The route home will take them through Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, May 14 where they will attend the St. Louis Cardinals at the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball game before their return to Knoxville on Saturday, May 15.
Warlick and Caldwell, along with the Cruisin' Crew, will celebrate their Knoxville homecoming back at the Wild Wing Café on May 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Past Cruisin' For A Cause events included the inaugural ride in 2007 from San Francisco to Knoxville; a 2008 round-trip from Knoxville to Key West, Fla., and last year's ride, a 1,500-mile round-trip along the Natchez Trace.
Since 2007, the Cruisin' Crew has traveled more than 6,000 miles and the annual event has contributed to the nearly $100,000 raised by the charitable organization, Champions For A Cause.
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Champions For A Cause has raised and donated nearly $100,000 to help support the fight against breast cancer.
The money raised through these events supports efforts such as the University of Tennessee Breast Health Outreach Program, Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, and The Wellness Community of East Tennessee.
These organizations have provided thousands of mammograms, countless treatments, and hours of education for those who could not otherwise afford these life saving services.
Champions For A Cause is a non-profit (501(c)-3) fundraising organization started by Warlick and Caldwell, with the mission to advance and support the cause of charitable organizations who advocate and act to better the quality of life and health for individuals at risk or in need.