The Bobby Labonte Foundation, founded by NASCAR champion racecar driver and High Point businessman Bobby Labonte, along with the 2018 Charity Bike Ride Title Sponsor Thomas Built Buses, donated $50,000 total to three local non-profit organizations Monday night. During a reception at the Briles House in High Point, N.C., Bobby and Kristin Labonte presented representatives from High Point LEAP, Millis Regional Health Education Center, and Ready for School, Ready for Life with their share of the proceeds from the annual Bobby Labonte Foundation Charity Bike Ride held in September.
Bobby Labonte Foundation Caps Off Record-Breaking Fundraiser with Charitable Donations
The funds were raised through sponsorships, participant fundraising, registration fees, a VIP bike ride, cocktail party ticket sales, and a silent auction. It was a record-breaking year for the annual event, which hosted more than 250 cyclists and sold out tickets to its cocktail party and silent auction the evening before the Charity Bike Ride. The organizations receiving donations applied for grants through the Bobby Labonte Foundation earlier this year. All of the grant recipients benefit children and families in the Triad area.
"We are so proud of everyone involved in raising money for these organizations," said Bobby Labonte. "It was a community effort by the volunteers who organized everything, the sponsors who supported us, and the participants who fundraised and rode with us. Even the organizations receiving our grants volunteered the day of the Charity Bike Ride. Bringing everyone together to hand over the checks was the most amazing part, though."
Each charity has a specific project that will benefit from the grant. High Point LEAP's Boys2Men program will use the funds to address risky behaviors in boys six to 18 years old that can lead to gang involvement, low academic performance, and school suspensions. The program targets boys from fatherless homes and low-income communities, and combats those risk factors by helping participants achieve academically, develop character and leadership skills, and grow in integrity in preparation for their roles in society.
Millis Regional Health Education Center plans to purchase new exercise bicycles for the center's Wellness Discovery Room to help address childhood obesity and the health risks associated with obesity. Each year more than 8,000 students visit the Wellness Discovery Room to discover all the ways they can help keep their bodies healthy and strong. Future students will have a chance to try the new exercise bikes as part of an interactive lesson, teaching them how long they need to stay active every day to stay healthy.
Ready for School, Ready for Life will use the dollars provided by the Bobby Labonte Foundation to advance their early literacy strategy through Active Reading training, book distribution, and the expansion of the LENA Start program, which helps parents develop interactive talking habits with their children and provides parents with powerful resources. Ready for School, Ready for Life works with 60+ agencies/organizations across Guilford County to help ensure children arrive in Kindergarten ready for school.
This is the first year Thomas Built Buses partnered with the Bobby Labonte Foundation to become the title sponsor of the Charity Bike Ride. The company hosted a kid's bike build to kick off the week's events, where employees teamed up with Labonte and U.S. National Champion Cyclist Freddie Rodriguez to build more than 80 bikes for underprivileged children at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater High Point and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point.
"The outpouring of support from our community and from within Thomas Built Buses has exceeded our expectations," said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. "We are grateful to everyone who has given to this worthy cause and are humbled to be a part of it. We appreciate the Bobby Labonte Foundation for partnering with us and giving us an opportunity to make such a significant impact for these three organizations and within our own community."
During the grant presentation, both local Boys & Girls Clubs received a surprise donation of $2,500 each. For more information about the Bobby Labonte Foundation, or the Charity Bike Ride, visit bobbylabontefoundation.
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