Meet Patricia Johns, a retired community journalist and dedicated MSU Gran Fondo volunteer!
Q; How have you been involved with MSU Gran Fondo in the past?
I’ve got the t-shirts to prove that I’ve enjoyed volunteering several times! I have worked at a food stop, at the registration table, giving directions and even ringing a cow bell to encourage those riders coming up to the finish line!
Q: What brought you back again this year? Do you have a connection to MSU Gran Fondo’s mission (skin cancer awareness, prevention and research)?
Supporting skin cancer research is important. My father-in-law was treated for skin cancer and had surgery. My husband Michael works with his dermatologist to treat precancerous cells on his face and arms.
Q: What is your connection to the cycling community here in West Michigan?
I enjoy cycling and am a member of the Thornapple Trail Association which supports the Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail. I also serve on the Barry County Parks and Recreation Board. My husband and I are members of the Michigan United Tandem Society. I have volunteered with other cycling events including the Yankee Springs Time Trial, Barry Roubaix and an event in Barry County to introduce mountain biking to young riders.
Q: What is your favorite part about being involved with the MSU Gran Fondo?
Even with all the serious reasons for volunteering, the most important reason is that the volunteer staff supports and respects its volunteers. And then of course it is fun!
Q: Why should others consider becoming a volunteer?
I would encourage anyone to volunteer for this event because you will be inspired by the riders whether they are cancer survivors, riding for a family member who is suffering from the disease or in honor of a friend or family member who has died.
It is amazing to see those fit and fast riders challenging themselves to finish the 80 mile route faster time than the year before. But perhaps even more heart warming is watching as that young rider speed up approaching the finish line, to go just a little faster than the adult riding behind.
Thanks for all you do for the MSU Gran Fondo, Patricia!
Interested in volunteering at the MSU Gran Fondo this year? Click here to check out volunteer shifts and job categories.