Closer to Free annual bike ride raises over $1.2 million

New Haven, CT – October 22, 2013 – In its third year, the Closer to Free Ride to benefit Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and Yale Cancer Center has broken all records by raising $1.2 million.  One hundred percent of the funds raised by riders and volunteers will be put toward research and care at New England’s premier cancer center. Additional record breaking stats include 901 cyclists, 419 volunteers, and an outstanding 10,749 donors.


“What started out as a small, local event has grown into a fundraising powerhouse and we have plans to make the Closer to Free Ride even bigger and better next year,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president, development, Yale-New Haven Hospital.


After a stirring opening ceremony at the Yale Bowl on September 7, riders had the option to ride 25, 62.5 or 100 miles.  About a mile into the route, riders were greeted by cheering patients and staff at Smilow Cancer Hospital who were lining the sidewalks. Upon their return to the Yale Bowl, riders enjoyed the Finish Line Festival complete with live music, a beer garden, food trucks, games for kids and more. 


The generous support of local sponsors ensures that more dollars can go toward research and care.  The Closer to Free Ride community thanks Platinum Sponsors All American Waste, The New Haven Register and United Technologies as well as Official Hotel Sponsor the Study at Yale and Exclusive Bike Tech Sponsor The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop.  A full list of sponsors, event photos and more information can be found at


“The act of raising $1.2 million coupled with the incredible growth in participation is more than an effort, it is a movement. It is aspiration, inspiration, determination,” said rider John Nesco, of Team Essex.


The 2014 Closer to Free Ride will take place on Saturday, September 6.


Contact: Mark D’Antonio

203 688-2493

This article was submitted by Renee Elizabeth Gaudette on October 23, 2013.