GritCycle Hosts Annual Fundraiser for John Wayne Cancer Foundation

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Jerrod Niemann, Marisa Wayne, Ethan Wayne

GritCycle hosted its 6th annual Gritty Up event on May 31 and June 1, which consisted of two days of activities and fundraising for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

This year’s Gritty Up raised over $432,000, a $60k jump from last year for the organization. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation is an organization that funds programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and saves lives through research, education, awareness and support.

Day one, The Auction + Party portion of the event, took place on Friday, May 31 with a performance by Jerrod Niemann.

Day two was The Ride portion where participants took part in a three-hour cycling class with 100 bikes all under one roof, where the highest performing fundraising team (led by David and Linda Wirta – both Newport Beach residents) generated over $24,000.

Marisa Wayne (far right) gives instructions during the Gritty Up ride

Both days took place at the Lido House Hotel in Newport Beach. Through the course of the weekend, a total of 800 attendees took part in giving back.

To date, Gritty Up has raised more than $1.6 million for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

“My family and I are overwhelmed with the tremendous support of GritCycle staff, instructors and community,” said GritCycle founder Marisa Wayne, daughter of John Wayne. “Because of their hard-work, dedication and hustle, we crushed our goal raising more than $430,000 (and still climbing) for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. We appreciate all who donated, rode, supported and the local business who were creative in donating from their promotions. We are changing lives and saving lives and I know my dad would be so proud of the work being done in his name.”

John Wayne beat lung cancer in 1964. He died 15 years later after a struggle with cancer of the stomach. During this difficult period, he became passionate about helping others fight this terrible disease.

To honor his memory, his family created the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, with the mission to bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer. JWCF funds novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness and support.

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation established the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. Their research has led to groundbreaking procedures and treatments. JWCF also funds an innovative skin cancer awareness and prevention program for youth called Block the Blaze.

For more information, visit JohnWayne.org.

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