This past Sunday marked what has become an annual company tradition: the Boys & Girls Club of Central VA Cycling Challenge.
Most are familiar with the Boys & Girls Club mission to provide at-risk youth with a safe place to learn & grow through a variety of life-enhancing programs. The highlight of the Cycling Challenge is that it isn’t just a fundraising event for adult cycling enthusiasts—it’s actually an extension of a youth program aimed at developing life skills through athletics. The Cycling Challenge encourages “Varsity” participants to set a goal mileage (25, 50, 75, or 100 miles) and follow a strict training program for 6 months. Upon meeting their set goal, program participants are rewarded with the bike and gear they’ve been using over the course of the summer.
Younger club members are introduced to the program through a “Junior Varsity” team that focuses on learning how to ride a bicycle and enforcing basic safety skills. As an after-school volunteer for the JV team, I was able to help teach a reluctant young girl how to ride a bicycle for the first time in May and then watch her happily complete an 8 mile ride in September.
I’m proud to share that as a corporate sponsor this year Merkle|RKG raised just under $8,000 to support the program & fielded a team of 9 cyclists who collectively rode 291 miles!
…Although if I put back on my data-driven marketer hat, 291 miles for 9 adult cyclists pales in comparison to the nearly 500 miles the kid’s teams rode. Looks like our corporate team has some serious goal setting to do before 2016!