2017 Massachusetts Ride for the Ribbon

OUR MISSION
The mission of the Massachusetts Ride for the Ribbon is to seek a cure for breast cancer through heightened public awareness and support of foundations dedicated to the research, treatment and education necessary to confront this terrible disease.

THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR THE RIDE

LYSA WILKINS, FOUNDER
Lysa has been riding since the age of four. Horses have always been an important part of her life. Lysa is thrilled to be a founding member of the MA Ride for the Ribbon®! This fundraiser combines her passion for horses with a cause that is very close to her own heart, breast cancer. Lysa's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and she created the Ride for the Ribbon to celebrate her mother’s five year anniversary of being cancer free! There are countless others in her life whose lives have been touched and forever changed by this disease. Lysa is excited to bring her energy and commitment to the Massachusetts Ride for the Ribbon®!


TRICIA GELINAS, COTA
Tricia is the manager of a rehabilitation department in a nursing home and a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has encountered many patients who are currently receiving or have had to receive treatment for breast cancer. Her involvement in this event is in honor of her best friend who lost her aunt to breast cancer and for all women who are affected by this disease. Tricia currently lives in Springfield, Massachusetts.


CHRISTINE KURKER
Christine began riding as an adult. She has traveled to Ireland several times and participated in some challenging cross country riding! Christine bought her first horse just a few years ago. One of their first rides together was Quiet Corner's Ride for the Cure® in Pomfret CT, which proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. Christine is thrilled to be a member of the Massachusetts Ride Committee and has been instrumental in pulling the ride together.


CARYL MOORE LEEDS
Caryl has always had a passion for animals, but horses are at the top of the list. Through the years, she has ridden in the hunter and remedial dressage disciplines but enjoys trail riding the best. In 2008, a childhood equestrian friend asked Caryl to make a donation towards her ride in the First Annual Ride for the Cure in Massachusetts. Instead, Caryl signed up for the ride herself and rode with her friend. She was honored with "Platinum Rider 2008" at the Ride for the Cure having raised the most money for the ride! Having several close friends and relatives who have had breast cancer, Caryl thought that the MA Ride for the Ribbon® was the perfect venue to weave her passion together with a good cause and asked if she could join the committee starting in 2009.


JESSICA NOWAK
Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts degree form Western New England University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Jessica lost her aunt in 2002 from breast cancer at the young age of 41. Joining the Ride for the Ribbon has given Jessica a way to show her support in the hope of finding a cure for this life changing disease. Jessica resides in Wilbraham MA, and is the Operations Manager for Century Limousine.

 


REBECCA SMITH, CO-FOUNDER
Rebecca has been riding since the age of 10 when her aunt bought her riding lessons for her birthday. The same aunt also passed away in 2002 a the young age of 41 from breast cancer. Her aunt instilled a passion for giving back to the community. Rebecca has found the Ride for the Ribbon to be the best way to combine her love of horses and a way to raise awareness about something that effects us all. Along with Joann Hayssen, you will find Rebecca at the Ride for the Ribbon booth in the Better Living Center at Equine Affaire every year promoting the Ride. Rebecca has been a licensed riding instructor since 2007 and is a full time Realtor with Keller Williams Realty. She currently lives in Springfield MA .


MICHELLE SPAIN
Michelle has been riding for 18 years and teaching horseback riding for six years. Two years ago, Michelle rode in the MA Ride for the Ribbon "just for something to do," thinking that the bonus was that it was for a good cause! The year after, she learned weeks before the ride, she was expecting her first son. She volunteered instead of riding. She now donates her time to the Ride Committee because the list of names tied to her pink ribbon was getting too long. Michelle is in charge of all MA Ride for the Ribbon Facebook and Twitter content.


AMANDA YOUNG
Amanda's aunts and godmother had her on a horse just about the time she could walk. She grew up riding equitation and hunters. Amanda was the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the MA National Guard's Ceremonial Unit's Mounted Platoon from 2005-2007. In that time she founded the Massachusetts Military Horse Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that uses horses to honor fallen soldiers and veterans. Today Amanda avidly enjoys hunter paces and looks forward to competing in USEA events. Amanda's experience with her non-profit organization and desire to help find a cure drew her to the CT Ride for the Cure®. When word spread about a MA Ride starting she couldn't wait to get involved!

 

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