About Illini 4000

About Illini 4000

4000 Miles. 2 Wheels. 1 Cause. About Illini 4000 Our Mission History About Us Leadership The Illini 4000 for Cancer is a nonprofit organization d...

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4000 Miles. 2 Wheels. 1 Cause.

About Illini 4000 Our Mission


About Us


The Illini 4000 for Cancer is a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting the American cancer experience, raising funds for cancer research and patient support services, as well as spreading awareness for the fight against cancer through annual crosscountry bike rides.

The Illini 4000 is a student-run organization at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Every summer, the Illini 4000 sends a group of students on a cross-country bike ride to fight cancer and collect stories of those affected by cancer.

The Illini 4000 was formed in 2006 by University of Illinois students Anish Thakkar and Jonathan Schlesinger, who saw a lack of funding for cancer research. The two organized and participated in the inaugural ride in the summer of 2007, and has completed a ride every summer since.

The Illini 4000 is managed by a board of directors who oversee the organization’s day-to-day operations, logistical planning of the ride, and the organization’s long-term sustainability. The board is comprised entirely of students who fill various unpaid volunteer positions.

Illini 4000 • P.O. Box 2431, Champaign, IL 61825 • illini4000.org • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

About The Portraits Project What is the Portraits Project?

The Portraits Project is a collection of narratives that illustrate how Americans respond to cancer. Each story is reflective of their unique life experiences and individual beliefs: from the retired teacher in Washington D.C., to the young dancer in Portland, we believe that everyone has a story to tell.


The Portraits Project is a national community that gives a voice to the American cancer experience and inspires people to rise together in the fight against cancer. By sharing the stories of people across the United States, the Portraits Project strives to serve as a platform to unite those who have been affected by cancer, provide educational resources, and foster strength in the face of this disease. Visitors examine Portraits on display at the fall 2013 Portraits Gallery. The Portraits Project holds an open gallery at least twice per year, and many are viewable at portraitsproject. org

Members of the 2012 Illini 4000 Bike America Team after completing a Portrait with Kenneth Wayne Worldturner, a member of the Sioux Nation battling colon cancer

I4k and the Portraits Project

Each Portrait is taken by members of the Illini 4000, who during their ride have the unique opportunity while riding across the country to interview a wide spectrum of people. While interviewing cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers from all walks of life, our riders are able to truly discover how cancer has impacted the American lifestyle. By recording these unique narratives from the communities we ride through each year, our organization illustrates how Americans respond to cancer according to their religious beliefs, location, and socioeconomic status.

Illini 4000 • P.O. Box 2431, Champaign, IL 61825 • illini4000.org • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Facts and FAQs Fundraising Funds Raised

Since 2006, the Illini 4000 has raised over $650,000 for cancer research and patient support services, and has annually raised over $100,000 since 2010. We hope to raise $150,000 in 2014.

What is the fundraising minimum?

Each rider is responsibile for personally raising at least $3,500 to participate in the ride. In 2013, our riders raised an average of approximately $5,200 per rider.

Members of the Illini 4000 Board of Directors present the 2014 donation of $15,000 to Camp Kesem Illinois, a free local camp for children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer. Illini 4000 has donated to Camp Kesem every year since our founding.

Our Beneficiaries

In 2013, the Illini 4000 donated a total of $115,500 to the Damon Runyan Cancer Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Camp Kesem Illinois, The Livestrong Foundation, the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, Camp TLC in Lombard, IL, and to cancer research efforts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

How much of the money raised is donated?

The Ride How long does the trip take?

Each year’s route is slightly different and vary in length. The 2014 route will take 71 days to complete, including 8 rest days. This year, our riders will depart from Central Park in New York City on May 25th and will complete the ride at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on August 3rd.

How many miles are covered each day?

The team rides an average of approximately 71 miles per day. Our shortest ride day is 16 miles, while our longest is just over 113 miles in Nebraska.

Where do the riders sleep?

We rely on the charity of others for a place to stay. In addition to camping, our riders stay at schools, community centers, and places of worship who graciously agree to host our team.

The Illini 4000 does everything it can to minimze organizational expenses. Thriftiness and the enormous generosity of individuals along the way helps us donate over 90% of funds raised each year, a much greater percentage than comparable organizations.

Illini 4000 • P.O. Box 2431, Champaign, IL 61825 • illini4000.org • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

The 2014 Ride This year marks the eighth year of the Illini 4000 Bike America Team.We have experience tremendous growth as an organization in terms of fundraising, cancer awareness, and the Portraits Project. Thus far we have successfully completed seven cross-country bike trips, and this summer another group of riders will do the same. The team will connect with the cause along the way as they visit hospitals and cancer centers, children’s cancer summer camps, and more. The 2014 Bike America Team aims to raise over $150,000.

2014 Bike America Team Eric Baehr, Gurnee, IL Jeffrey Bogue, Naperville, IL Ellen Butler, Rushville, IL Marissa Castner, St. Charles, IL Kevin Daliva, Glenview, IL Grace Deetjen, Naperville, IL Shiqi Fu, Guangdong, China Alex Knicker, Crystal Lake, IL Blake Landry, Saint Martinville, LA Tyler Levy, Wheeling, IL

Kathleen Mammoser, Algonquin, IL Ryan Newquist, Dekalb, IL Christy Nichols, Glenview, IL Isalia Ramirez, Cicero, IL Connor Ramsey, Rochester, IL Anna Renardo, Chicago, IL Arthur Tseng, Hong Kong, China David Walder, Oak Park, IL Anne Wave, Park Ridge, IL Josh Weisberg, Buffalo Grove, IL

For more information and full profiles on all of our riders, please visit illini4000.org/riders Illini 4000 • P.O. Box 2431, Champaign, IL 61825 • illini4000.org • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Contact Information Press Inquiries

[email protected]

Portraits Project

[email protected]

Other Inquiries

Visit Our Websites!

www.illini4000.org www.portraitsproject.com facebook.com/illini4000 facebook.com/portraitsproject Twitter/Instagram: @illini4000

Sponsorship and Fundraising: [email protected] Donation Processing: [email protected] Route and Stayovers: [email protected] Events: [email protected] Website: [email protected] All other inquiries: [email protected]

Our website is a great resource to find out about the most recent news and developments of the Illini 4000 and the Portraits Project.

What People Do Documentary

Mailing Address

Zachary Hermann, a University of Illinois alumnus, filmed portions of the 2007 inaugural ride and created a documentary entitled What People Do. View the trailer online at www.filmsthatmove.com

Illini 4000 P.O. Box 2431 Champaign, IL 61825

Illini 4000 • P.O. Box 2431, Champaign, IL 61825 • illini4000.org • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization