The TaTa Tour 2009 not only raises interest because of its curious name, but it also raises awareness for a worthy cause. With some big-name support from Lady Vols basketball, the May 2 day-ride in Knoxville will kick off a week-long national ride to raise money for breast cancer programs: the 3rd Annual Cruisin' for a Cure ride (starting May 3), which will take riders down the Natchez Trace from Knoxville to New Orleans.
Both rides are sponsored by the Champions for a Cause non-profit organization. Combining the traditions of basketball and motorcycles, Champions for a Cause brings a new spin to breast cancer fund-raising in a truly East Tennessee fashion.
Founded in 2007 through the joint efforts of Lady Vol Assistant Head Coach Holly Warlick and former Lady Vol and current UCLA Head Coach Nikki Caldwell, Champions is an effort to raise money for research and treatment of breast cancer.
"We first started the event because we wanted to ride motorcycles across the country—but we wanted to do it for a reason," says Warlick. "My Grandmother battled and died of breast cancer, so I have always felt compelled to do whatever possible to find a cure. Nikki as well has had a family member with breast cancer, so we felt that it was a natural fit... Everyone knows someone who has or has had breast cancer. This is our way of helping the fight."
Champions for a Cause has raised nearly $100,000 and traveled over 6,000 miles to support the fight against breast cancer since its founding.
"Nikki and I ride every mile," says Warlick. "Seeing this beautiful country on a bike is an incredible experience, and doing it for something you are passionate about is fabulous."
The money raised by these events will go to benefit programs such as the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund and the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute's Breast Health Outreach Program.
The TaTa Tour starts at Wild Wing Cafe [11335 Campbell Lakes Drive, Knoxville ], making stops at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and Coyote Joe's Bar and Grill [5640 Clinton Highway, Knoxville]. This event is open to all riders, but registration is required because space is limited. The ride begins at 3:45 p.m. and will end with an after-party and the chance to meet Warlick and Caldwell.
To find out more about the events, sponsorship, or to register, visit the Champions for a Cause website, championsforacause.org.