GRIT Cycle helps raise money to fight cancer

This looked more like a rock concert than a spin workout.

Everyone who was on a bike in the room was bouncing and singing along with Marisa Wayne, belting out the lyrics to "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey.

They sang in unison. Sunday at GRIT Cycle in Costa Mesa was all about unity.

This was so much more than a standard spin workout, though. It was the inaugural three-hour Gritty Up charity ride to raise money for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The riders pumped their legs on the cycles with purpose.

All the sweating helped toward a final tally of $192,000 for the foundation.

The owners of GRIT Cycle — Marisa Wayne, Candice Collings and Matt Bourne — wanted to raise $107,000 in honor of John Wayne's 107th birthday in late May. But over a monthlong effort, the spin center and the community surpassed that goal with the sort of teamwork seen Sunday and at a soiree Saturday night at Canaletto Ristorante Veneto in Newport Beach, where a silent auction took place.

The items up for bid included paintings, sporting game tickets and skin enhancements from local businesses. The charity event packed the patio at Canaletto, which took on a festive atmosphere.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Marisa Wayne, John Wayne's youngest daughter. "I'm practically speechless. I'm completely shocked by the turnout, the enthusiasm, the participation of this whole community. Everybody wanted to donate to the silent auction. People wanted to get on the bikes. We were sold out within a week."

Many participants at the charity wrote names on their arms to show who they were riding for — people who had died of cancer or perhaps beaten it. Marisa Wayne had "Dad," and the name of her sister, "Toni," on her arms.

Isabel Mattson-Pain rode for her son, Alexander, who ran around Canaletto on Saturday night just like a typical kid. He had leukemia but has been cancer-free for more than two years.

Mattson-Pain helped her team raise $5,000.

Stacie Gaut of Newport Coast led a team that raised $25,000, Collings said. Gaut said she was motivated to raise money in honor of her late grandmother, Wanda.

Kristen Hatfield of Newport Beach led efforts that raised $12,865.

There were so many others. Ethan Wayne, Marisa's brother, said he was impressed by them all.

The siblings believe their father would be proud.

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