Georgia Herrick Hanson is the kind of volunteer who makes any event easier to pull off because she understands the necessity of "suiting up" and being "hands on." Georgia did not let a little chemo and radiation get in the way of showing up for the very first Ride for the Cure® event in Aspen. She donned a wig and a costume and organized an aide station that required pre-dawn set p in the cold morning air at 10,000 feet. She lost her voice cheering riders on and thanking them for their efforts. The Ride raised $295,000 that first year.
By year two, Georgia had a scrubby fuzz of hair and had completed her treatment. She showed up to start the race and tell the riders her story in hopes of providing incentive to ride hard and, most importantly, to raise more funds. In that second year, the Ride raised $454,000.
In the midst of all her treatment and recovery, Georgia continued her full-time job and led a successful election campaign to save an important local historical society from certain demise. She also continued to focus on supporting Komen fundraising for research. For year three of the ride, Georgia was the co-chair with fellow survivor Elaine Grossman, founder of the Ride. Georgia was responsible for bringing more attention to survivors in a meaningful way that would both add poignancy to the event and honor the individual survivor experience. Working with a spectacularly artistic and talented photographer, Sue Drinker, Georgia rallied survivors from up and down the valley to produce a unique and emotional gallery of portraits. Titled "Putting a Face on Cancer," this exhibit has taken on a life of its own and will continue to be shared at various sites around the valley for many years to come. As the number of survivors continues to increase, the project will continue to grow. In year three, the Ride raised $703,000.
Year four is approaching and Georgia's leadership and passion have helped to bring the Aspen Historical Society back to its vibrant self, and Georgia is beginning to find some time for herself. Who knows— maybe this year Georgia will be at the starting line on her bike!
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