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DCC Ride Continues To Grow

Posted Oct 24, 2012

Third charity ride picks up new partner.

Three years ago when the first group of riders took part in the inaugural Dolphins Cycling Challenge, Michael Mandich had no idea how big the event would eventually become. Nearly $2 million has been raised, and the eldest son of the late Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich couldn’t be prouder.

As he stepped to the podium this afternoon to introduce the DCC’s newest partner, the Lennar Corporation, Mandich reflected on the enormity of the ride and the support he has seen given by the South Florida community and beyond. His mother, Bonnie, stood by his side and Mandich could hardly contain his smile as he promoted the two-day, 170-mile ride scheduled for November 3-4, knowing that his father was also smiling down from above.

“It’s amazing for a couple of reasons because of how many people have been affected by cancer,” said Mandich, who four months ago became the first CEO of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge. “Right now as it stands we’ll have over 60 people riding who themselves had cancer. That’s an amazing statistic and shows that they’ve beaten it, and also the level of growth of this ride has been phenomenal. People told us this type of ride couldn’t happen with the fund-raising minimums like they were and I think we’ve proven that wasn’t the case. People do get behind this and the dollars that do come in go to a great cause.”

Every dollar that is raised goes directly to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee helped get the ride started after seeing the impact that was made up in Massachusetts by the Pan-Mass Challenge, a fund-raising bicycle ride now in its 33rd year.

Stuart Miller, the CEO of Lennar, rode in his first DCC last year and completed the entire 170 miles over those two days. He was so impressed by the number of riders on the road and how well organized the ride was that he recruited more than 100 riders from Lennar to participate this time around.

“Most people don’t know that the Miller family and the Mandich family have something in common and it’s something a little bit unfortunate, and that is my dad passed away about 10 years ago from the exact same form of cancer,” Miller said, “It’s a very rare liver cancer called cholangiocarinoma and that’s what took Mike’s father. One thing that we learned in painful circumstances is just how important it is in our community to have the very best care right here in our backyard.”

Also on hand was Dee’s wife, Karen, and their two sons, Spence and Tommy, to promote the kids ride that will take place on November 4th at Sun Life Stadium. This is a chance for today’s youth to learn about the importance of giving back to the community and raising money for worthy causes.

“The kids ride for us is important because it’s one of those events where we can really teach the kids the importance of philanthropy in our South Florida area,” Karen Dee said. “Spencer and Tommy participated in the last two rides, wrote letters to their families asking for donations and they’re planning a lemonade stand in the week to raise funds. These guys along with 200 kids will be riding at the stadium on November 4th and it’s important for them to know that they too can make a difference in the fight against cancer. It’s not just adults. It affects kids, too, and it affects their families and it’s nice to know they can also help.”

Finally, Mandich was able to share his personal connection to the ride and what it means to him and his family as they honor the memory of his legendary father.

“I think it’s part of his legacy and it probably might be one of the things he’s most proud of, maybe because I’m involved in it in such a heavy way now,” he said. “My mom’s involved as well as my brothers and even my cousins have come in from Cleveland. The fact that this will live on and maybe save lives going forward, I think that’s what would probably impress him the most. The dollars in his name are enabling this to reach such a high level.”

There is a registration fee of $150 per rider with a fund-raising goal ranging from $250 to $1,200, depending on the ride selected. For more information visit www.RideDCC.com.

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