May 1, 2009
UCLA head women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell and Tennessee associate head women's basketball coach Holly Warlick will participate in the third annual Cruisin' For A Cause presented by FedEx Office on May 3-9 along the Natchez Trace. Cruisin' For A Cause is a long-haul motorcycle ride dedicated to raising funds and awareness for a cure for breast cancer and is part of Caldwell and Warlick's charitable organization, Champions For A Cause.
"Our goal is pretty simple," said Warlick. "We want to ride thousands of miles to raise thousands of dollars to recruit thousands of people to join the fight against breast cancer." Also a passionate crusader for breast cancer awareness and research, Caldwell noted, "More than 185,000 women are diagnosed and more than 41,000 women die from breast cancer every year. This ride is one of our advocacy efforts to encourage the health community to advance their work on finding a cure for this life-threatening illness."
Cruisin' For A Cause begins in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, May 3, with Warlick, Caldwell, the Cruisin' Crew and an entourage of supporters, who will ride their bikes on a 1,500-mile round-trip along the Natchez Trace. Warlick and Caldwell will stop to host fundraisers and meet fans along the route, including planned events in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday, May 3 at the Hard Rock Café (7-10 p.m. CT) and New Orleans on Thursday, May 7 as special guests of the Inaugural Bike Week New Orleans.
They will kick off their Big Easy visit as riders in the Inaugural Bike Week New Orleans (9 a.m. CT) with a stop at the Convention Center steps, where they will join Bike Week New Orleans Organizers and Mayor Ray Nagin in a 10 a.m. CT news conference to talk about Cruisin' For A Cause. Their day continues at 2 p.m. CT, when they visit the Children's Hospital to meet, greet and hang out with their youngest fans. Fans are also invited to visit Champions For A Cause at the Hampton Inn Hotel and Convention Center for the Easyriders V-Twin Bike Show, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. CT. Warlick and Caldwell will drop by the booth as their schedules permit.
To celebrate their return to East Tennessee, Regal Entertainment Group is sponsoring Cruisin' HOME for a Cause¸ a free concert and welcome home party with special musical guest, SellarsWray, in Knoxville's Market Square from 6 - 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 9. Cruisin' For A Cause will also make stops and hold impromptu events in Tupelo, Miss. (May 4); Jackson, Miss. (May 5); and Birmingham, Ala. (May 8).
Throughout the ride, fans and supporters can follow Warlick and Caldwell on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and championsforacause.org. Past Cruisin' For A Cause events included the inaugural round-trip ride from Knoxville to Los Angeles and last year's round-trip from Knoxville to Key West, Fla. Since 2007, the Cruisin' Crew has traveled more than 6,000 miles and the annual event has contributed to the nearly $100,000 raised by the charitable organization, Champions For A Cause.
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Champions For A Cause is a non-profit (501(c)-3) fundraising organization started by UT Associate Head Basketball Coach Holly Warlick and UCLA Head Basketball Coach Nikki Caldwell, with the mission to advance and support the cause of charitable organizations who advocate and act to better the quality of life and health for individuals at risk or in need. Champions For A Cause has raised and donated nearly $100,000 to help support the fight against breast cancer through its signature events: Cruisin' For A Cause - a long haul motorcycle ride, Links Fore The Cure - a women's golf tournament, and b3 - bikes, basketball & breast cancer - a dinner and auction. The money raised through these events supports efforts such as the University of Tennessee Breast Health Outreach Program, Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, and The Wellness Community of East Tennessee. These organizations have provided thousands of mammograms, countless treatments, and hours of education for those who could not otherwise afford these life saving services.
Caldwell and the Bruin women's basketball team participated in breast cancer awareness activities last February, teaming up with the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center to host the First Annual Carnival for the Cure on Feb. 14. Following the carnival, UCLA hosted Arizona State in a Pac-10 Conference game, with both teams wearing special pink jerseys to support the cause. After the game, UCLA auctioned off its jerseys, raising over $3,000 for the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center.