As he set off to raise money for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s skin cancer research program, Ted Adornato was nearly 400 miles away from the other riders in the 2016 MSU Gran Fondo.
Yet he became this year’s top fundraiser, gathering $2,500 in pledges. At the same time, Adornato raised another $1,500 for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. He had committed himself to participating in the MSU Gran Fondo and the Ride for Roswell, which both were on June 25.
Thus, while some 1,700 riders were setting off from downtown Grand Rapids, Adornato was among 7,200 doing likewise at the exact same moment in Buffalo. He grew up in Rochester, NY, and has family members in Buffalo, including some who’ve been treated for cancer at Roswell, including for skin cancer.
As he rode through Buffalo, his mind was back in Grand Rapids, where Adornato now lives and where friends were riding in the MSU Gran Fondo. As an executive vice president for SpartanNash Co., a major sponsor of the MSU Gran Fondo, he felt a special bond for those riding through West Michigan.
Next year, he plans to physically ride in Grand Rapids at the 2017 MSU Gran Fondo, while conducting a virtual Ride for Roswell.
“To me it seems like there are so many people that it connects,” Adornato said. “It’s a great cause. I’ll be involved for many years to come.”