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International Paper Sponsors Ride 2 Rosemary Fundraiser and West Cancer Foundation with $25,000 Grant

The grant from International Paper helped to enable 11th annual multi-state bike ride fundraiser to raise over $350,000 to help fund West Cancer Foundation patient support programs

MEMPHIS, TENN., December 10, 2021 – West Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to advance the fight against cancer through research, education, patient support, and community outreach, received a $25,000 grant from International Paper as presenting sponsor of Ride 2 Rosemary, a fundraising initiative where a group of cyclists ride from Memphis to Rosemary Beach, Florida to raise money to help fund West Cancer Foundation patient support programs in Memphis. The $25,000 grant provided support for the five-day ride that raised over $350,000 this year.

“It is emotional each time I watch the sea of pink jerseys wave goodbye to their loved ones as they embark on this journey. We are so very thankful to International Paper for supporting the Ride 2 Rosemary 11th annual fundraising bike ride with a $25,000 grant,” said Leighanne Hart Soden, West Cancer Foundation Executive Director. “We are especially grateful for the nine men, including one of our current board members and International Paper’s own Tim Nicholls, who started this incredible expedition and have since raised well over $1,500,000 to support cancer patients in our community.”

Ride 2 Rosemary began in 2011 when a group of men decided to ride from Memphis, Tennessee to Rosemary Beach, Florida to support one of the men who was going through a challenging time in his life. Along the way, they raised some funds and awareness in the fight against cancer. What started as a small group of nine men that raised a little over $25,000, has grown to a group of 61 that trained throughout the summer and raised over $350,000 in 2021, surpassing their goal of $250,000.

“I am so appreciative of all the sponsors, including International Paper, and all the people who donated along the way to support the Ride 2 Rosemary and West Cancer Foundation to help advance the fight against cancer,” said Tim Nicholls, Ride 2 Rosemary founding cyclist and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of International Paper. “The Ride 2 Rosemary is a great challenge for us cyclists and one we are so grateful to be able to participate in. It is also very meaningful to me and my family members who have been through a fight with cancer.”

Additional generous sponsors who made this year’s Ride 2 Rosemary a success include Green Mountain Technology, Pitchfork Farm, West Cancer Center and Research Institute, Boyle Investment Company, Orion, Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company, Jerry and Margot Ladd, Loaded for Bear, and LSI Graphics.

West Cancer Foundation is a Memphis-based nonprofit organization founded in 2020 to advance the fight against cancer through local research, education, patient support, and community outreach. The organization is committed to developing collaborative partnerships and innovative community initiatives that will improve health inequities, increase research, and leave a lasting impact by removing barriers to cancer care.

As part of their mission to advance the fight against cancer, West Cancer Foundation offers programs that provide patient support to members of the community, including breast screenings to provide financial assistance to patients who are uninsured or underinsured and have an income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty threshold and who may require assistance with co-payments.

In addition to breast screenings, West Cancer Foundation offers other programs including the Lymphedema Assistance Program, Online Wig Boutique, Patient Transportation, Post-Mastectomy Assistance, and Research and Fellowship Programs at University of Memphis and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. To learn more about West Cancer Foundation, visit

International Paper strives to be a force for good in the community and makes sustainable investments to protect and improve the lives of employees and mobilize people, products, and resources to address critical needs in the communities where they live and work. Most of the company’s donations and IP Foundation grants support projects or programs focused on the Signature Causes of education, hunger, health and wellness, and disaster relief.



Photo: Kerri Burnette, Operations & Donor Relations Manager, West Cancer Foundation; Leighanne Hart Soden, Executive Director, West Cancer Foundation; Tim Nicholls, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, International Paper

Photo: Ride 2 Rosemary 2021 group photo

The West Cancer Foundation can be found online:








About West Cancer Foundation:

West Cancer Foundation is inspired by the work of Dr. William H. West who felt that he received a commission to perform his life’s work when his mother, Margaret West, died after her battle with breast cancer.

The West Cancer Foundation’s mission is to advance the fight against cancer through research, education, patient support, and community outreach with the vision to shape oncology research and education so that cancer is no longer a burden for future generations. West Cancer Foundation funds programs that address the West Cancer Foundation core values of community, diversity, discovery, and stewardship. The programs West Cancer Foundation currently funds are Breast Screenings, Lymphedema Assistance, Post-Mastectomy Assistance, Online Wig Boutique, Patient Transportation, and Research and Fellowship Programs at University of Memphis and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. For more information visit


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