2020 was probably the best year to unveil “Kathy and Joe Curatolo Pathways Park.” In a year when everything else went “virtual,” this park is anything but. This enhanced micro-park recognizes and honors the fundraisers and volunteers who have selflessly helped to build the annual Ride for Roswell fundraiser into the uber successful event that it has become – the race is considered one of the largest single-day cycling fundraisers in North America.
This particular micro-park, located at the entranceway of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center – initially got its start back in 2015, when local business leaders Ron Schreiber, Michael Joseph (chairman of the Roswell Park board of directors), and Gary Crosby came together to propose a sculpture to honor Mitch Flynn, founder of The Ride For Roswell. The sculpture – “Pathways To Hope” – was designed and constructed by local artist Ellen Steinfeld.
Artistic concepts steamrolled from there.
“In 2017, I proposed to the Roswell Alliance that we make it a place of broader recognition by inscribing the pavers surrounding the sculpture with the names of about 125 top fundraisers and volunteers, and that we call the space ‘Pathways Park,’ playing off the name of Ellen’s sculpture,” said Flynn. As for the naming of the park, “Kathy is a childhood cancer survivor and a member of the Alliance Community Board and her husband Joe is owner of Georgetown Capital and captain of a Ride For Roswell team called ‘Kids Just Want To Have Fun,'” explained Flynn.
“In the summer of 2018, Joe and I got talking about how to make the space more of a genuine park. We came up with the idea of enlarging its footprint and adding amenities that would make it not only a place of recognition for the Ride, but also a sort of urban oasis for the Roswell community. Thanks to Kathy and Joe’s philanthropy, groundbreaking took place in spring 2020 and (pandemic-delayed) construction proceeded over the summer. The coping along the seat wall carries the inscription ‘Dedicated to the Fundraisers and Volunteers of The Ride For Roswell.’ The park’s pavers are inscribed with the names of the Ride’s top yearly, lifetime, and youth fundraisers; volunteers of the year and volunteer leadership; and top lifetime teams. Plantings and benches along a tree-shaded cinder pathway that curves along the side of Carlton House give it the feel of a New York City pocket park.”
Ultimately, this park – re-dedicated on September 23rd – will become a meaningful place of solace for cancer patients, who are looking for a place to relax, meditate, and reflect. The park will act as a sense of normalcy and grounding, for patients, visitors, and medical staff who all share hope, and a love for humanity.