Growing up as an athlete playing soccer, Buffalo native Katie Hamister had nothing but distaste for the sport of cycling. However, when she suffered an ACL injury, she realized the beauty of the sport. Today, she averages 120 miles a week and has already completed a Half Ironman in Florida. She plans to complete three more this year in Raleigh, North Carolina; Muskoka, Canada; and Cozumel, Mexico, to celebrate her 40th birthday.
So when her colleague mentioned the Empire State Ride to her in 2017, she was interested right away.
“I thought, ‘awesome I’m going to do that next year!’” Katie said.
And she is. The Empire State Ride adds another physical feat for her to accomplish and it also aligns with her values.
Even though she currently lives in North Carolina, Katie still feels a deep connection to the Buffalo community. As executive director of the Hamister Family Foundation, she values philanthropy and giving back to the community — making the Empire State Ride a perfect match for her values. By riding across New York State, she can give back by raising money for cancer research and spreading awareness about Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
For her first Empire State Ride, Katie looks forward to meeting new people and hearing their stories. She said she feels honored to be part of a group that will embrace one another and do something together for cancer patients.
Katie’s Fundraising Tip
As a professional photographer, Katie decided to combine her passion with her fundraising efforts. She’s holding a raffle for anyone who donates $20 or more to her ride to win a family portrait session. The winner can even choose between North Carolina, South Florida and Buffalo as the location for the photo shoot! If you are interested, check out Katie’s donation page.