Giveback part of ongoing Hurricane Michael relief efforts throughout Panama City and surrounding Bay County
TAMPA, Fla. – The IRONMAN Foundation®, will provide a $100,000 Humanitarian Relief Effort Grant to the City of Panama City Community Development to help them solve the housing shortage created by Hurricane Michael. Specifically, the grant will help to fund new technology using 3D concrete robot printers that will build affordable and durable concrete homes. In addition to the grant funding, the IRONMAN Foundation, in partnership with FLO Cycling, will host a “Bike for a Kid” pop-up service project in the IRONMAN Village on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10. IRONMAN® 70.3® Gulf Coast athletes, along with their families and friends, are invited to visit the IRONMAN Foundation booth to assemble a bike for local kids in need. A total of 300 bikes will be built and distributed to children within the region in conjunction with IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast on May 11 and IRONMAN Florida on November 2.
“We are extremely grateful to the IRONMAN Foundation for their revolutionary efforts to solve Bay County’s housing shortage created by Hurricane Michael,” shares President and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach Dan Rowe. “We look forward to welcoming IRONMAN back to our destination this year and thank all the athletes, friends and families who are committed to race to help rebuild.”
When the Category 5 hurricane made landfall in October 2018, Hurricane Michael was one of the strongest storms to ever hit the Florida Panhandle. In the wake of its devastation, IRONMAN and local partners concluded that it would not be feasible to host the 20th edition of the IRONMAN Florida triathlon in its usual location of Panama City Beach, Florida, prompting the relocation to Haines City, the home of IRONMAN 70.3 Florida. The IRONMAN Foundation, along with generous support from HOKA ONE ONE, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and the IRONMAN community around the world, raised over $200,000 in Humanitarian Relief to support the region’s needs, which will include a large-scale community rebuilding project on Sunday, November 3.
“As we return to Panama City Beach and Bay County for the upcoming IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast and November’s IRONMAN Florida, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Panama City to create cutting-edge, sustainable housing solutions and bring more families home,” said Sarah Hartmann, Executive Director for the IRONMAN Foundation. “We invite our community of IRONMAN athletes, their families and friends to join us to race and help rebuild the community.”
The housing branch of the Bay County Long Term Recovery Task Force has been very aggressive and innovative in identifying potential solutions for the housing crisis. Returning families to a normal and healthy living environment is critical to maintaining health and well-being in the community.
“Bay County has a desperate need for safe and affordable housing as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018,” said Michael Johnson, Director of Community Development/CRA. “In the immediate aftermath of major disasters like Michael, the need for affordable housing to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people becomes more acute. The innovative 3D smart homes we are planning need to be developed in well-designed communities to replace the housing shortages created by the recent storm. With the IRONMAN Foundation’s generous donation of $100,000, we will be allowed to be the first in the area to apply this type of new, innovative technology. Thank you IRONMAN Foundation!”
The grant award will be presented on Friday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. local time at the Edgewater Convention Center in Panama City Beach, FL.
To support the IRONMAN Foundation Humanitarian Relief Effort Campaign, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/relief. For more information on the community rebuilding project on November 3, go to www.ironmanfoundation.org/florida.
About the IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 8,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town™, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
As part of Wanda Sports Holdings, the IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia™, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holdings
Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.