Archive for April 15th, 2012
A couple of days ago we were considering the prevalence of philanthropy among UK bikers, and I commented that the same could be said of bikers in the USA. A great example of this is the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.
This year is the 18th anniversary of the Ride, which will take place from 28 April to 4 May, starting in Napa, California and ending in Fort Worth, Texas – a journey of more than 2,500 miles. In excess of 175 riders will be taking part in this cross-country motorcycle trek, which was started by former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Petty, initially as simply a small group of friends riding from track to track. Now it has gone mainstream and since 1995 more than 7,000 riders have taken part, covering a combined total of more than 1 million miles and raising in excess of $14.5 million for children’s charities. For the last eight years it has specifically raised funds and awareness for an organisation called Victory Junction.
Victory Junction, created by the Petty family in memory of their late son Adam, aims to help children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, by providing them with “memorable, empowering, life-changing but physically safe and medically sound experiences” in a year-round camp, at Randleman, N.C. It opened in 2004, and has been largely funded by the annual Charity Ride, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Pilot Flying J, Racing Electronics, WinCraft Racing, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, Freightliner, Krispy Kreme and FGX International. Donations are also collected along the route, through a programme known as “Small Change. Big Impact”, and $10 donations can be sent by cellphone by texting RIDE to 27722 (and replying “YES” to the confirmation text) – the sum is then deducted from your balance or your monthly ‘phone bill. Or you can donate online at http://kylepettycharityride.com/, where there is also more information on the Ride (including pit-stop details) and on the Victory Junction charity. You might even be encouraged to volunteer to help at the camp!
In the eight years since the camp opened more than 7,350 children – who, due to health issues, would normally not have been able to go to camp – have been enabled to attend Victory Junction at no cost, thanks to the Charity Ride. A second camp is now being built at Kansas City.
A very worthy cause – and close to my heart, as a Trustee of the Chreda Foundation.