Cycling the Crossroads of the World with Cycle for Survival

Clockwise from top left: Cycle for Survival takes over Times Square; the author and intern Tatiana Cadet on their bikes; a Cycle for Survival bike; Cadet challenges herself to a great workout.

Times Square – the heavily nicknamed Crossroads of the World, Center of the Universe, or Heart of the World (among others) – draws an estimated 50 million annual visitors; more than 300,000 pedestrians pass through daily. It is also home to a pair of towers where Viacom keeps offices.

This bustling pedestrian and entertainment center provides the perfect backdrop for an annual Times Square Takeover by Cycle for Survival, the movement to beat rare cancers that is led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Earlier this year, I joined the battle alongside 60 employees across 23 departments in Viacom’s New York, Hollywood, and Paramount Pictures offices by participating in Cycle for Survival’s 11th year of rides. The energy was incredible, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to represent Team Viacom by participating in this year’s Times Square Takeover.

In late September, corporate communications intern Tatiana Cadet and I took to bikes smack in the heart of Times Square for an hour-long ride. We were there to support the cause and raise awareness and excitement among employees for our larger company-sponsored Cycle for Survival ride next spring. Jubilation, motivation, hope, and friendship filled the air.

Read Tatiana’s description of the event:

“It was the end of September, it felt like summer, and I was in the middle of Time Square on an exercise bike. My heart was racing, my legs were moving, and the sun was beaming on my face. I could feel the sweat dripping down, but the woman on stage motioning us to crank it up and keep pushing harder for the people that can no longer push kept me pedaling. It was my first time participating in Cycle for Survival, and I was amazed.

“At first, I was nervous because I heard about friends talking about extreme Soul Cycling classes that left them drained, but this was nothing like that. Cycling in the middle of New York City was enough to make it different, but the trainers from Equinox who led us on our cycling journey were great motivators. They reminded us that we weren’t just cycling to get some exercise for the day, but to be a part of a great cause.

“It felt good to be surrounded by so many people that care about making a difference. Between high-fiving my cycling neighbors and riding to positive music and motivating trainers, I left the event feeling really good and proud to be a part of Team Viacom, which shows a dedication to serving diverse communities and staying involved.”

Relive the experience as it appeared on @Viacom’s Instagram Story:

You’ll Never Have to Walk Alone: Viacom Unites With 20,000 New Yorkers for AIDS Prevention and Awareness

Sunday, May 21 was a pleasant spring morning in Manhattan’s Central Park, and Team Viacom couldn’t have asked for a better day to unite and support the 32nd Annual AIDS Walk New York.

Stationed among other top corporate walk sponsors in the so-called “gold section,” team members soaked in the warm air, secured their fundraising rewards, and chewed on their Così squagels. After a team photo, Viacom joined thousands of other jubilant walkers in a 10-kilometer march through the 843-acre park.

Team Viacom at the 2017 AIDS Walk in New York. Photo courtesy of Viacom.

AIDS Walk New York is the largest single-day AIDS fundraising event in the world. In its more than 30 years, the event has raised more than $150 million to combat HIV and AIDS (more than $3.7 million in 2017 alone). The funds raised at the event are a vital lifeline sustaining the prevention, care, and advocacy programs that the GMHC organization provides for the thousands of men, women and families affected by the diseases in the tri-state area. The proceeds also benefit dozens of other HIV/AIDS service organizations that participate as teams and raise funds through the organization’s community partnership program.

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Saving The Music With Jennah Bell and Rotimi

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The VH1 Save the Music Foundation​ is committed to ensuring that musical instruction remains central to a well-rounded education. And what better way to underscore that point than with live music? Last week, VH1 Save The Music, and Viacommunity supporters gathered in celebration of Black History Month to watch an intimate performance from Jennah Bell and Rotimi.

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Delivering MLK Day Love With Care Packages

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​​What better way to spread encouragement to freshmen in college than by sending a care package? Through the sleepless nights of studying, drowning in coffee, and raiding sofa cushions for loose change to buy ramen noodles, it is nice to know that someone out there cares.

On the Friday before Martin Luther King Day, Viacommunity, BET and many eager volunteers teamed up with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation to assemble 200 care packages for college freshman across the country. The care packages contained branded BET notebooks, Viacommunity-branded sunglasses and tote bags, stationary, snacks, and personal handwritten notes of encouragement. The students, or “Dreamers,” receiving the packages have overcome disadvantaged and underserved beginnings and are on their way to becoming the leaders of tomorrow – truly fulfilling Dr. King’s vision of an equal world.

 

In a society where only nine percent of students from low-income families earn a bachelor’s degree, the I Have a Dream Foundation is a crucial in transforming the lives of Dreamers by supporting them from the third grade through postsecondary education. Dreamers are two times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree compared to their low-income peers.

Viacommunity and BET will continue to help Dreamers transform dreams into reality by partnering with this great organization. ​

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Nickelodeon Grants Winter Wishes at P.S. 179X

A Power Wheels Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Ride-On ATV with monster traction is just one of the many new toys donated by Nickelodeon to P.S. 179X in the South Bronx this holiday season. Nickelodeon reached out to Viacommunity to find a way to bring mounds of TMNT, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Paw Patrol toys out of storage to benefit underserved youth in New York.

It all started with a phone call from Wanessa Yajure, a NICK E-Commerce coordinator. Her department wanted to partner with Viacommunity to find an organization in need of toys during the holiday rush. “We collect toys to support our programs and reward our fans throughout the year. This time around, we wanted to make an effort to go beyond that and extend it to the community. This is where  this idea came about and what better way to do it than to partner with the Viacommunity team,” Yajure explained.

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