Giveback and service project efforts set to support wildfire recovery and military families in greater Santa Rosa
TAMPA, Fla./SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The IRONMAN Foundation® announced today multiple give back initiatives in conjunction with the IRONMAN and IRONMAN® 70.3® events taking place in Santa Rosa that will award more than $75,000 in grant funding this year. Initiatives will focus around supporting military families and wildfire recovery efforts. This year’s grant funding brings the total giveback to more than $200,000 in the Santa Rosa region. In 2018, the IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $1.7 million in grant funding to support the needs of IRONMAN race communities across North America.
BIKE for a Kid presented by FLO Cycling
The IRONMAN Foundation will launch its 2018 pop-up service project, “Bike for a Kid” presented by FLO Cycling at IRONMAN Santa Rosa. On Wednesday and Thursday, May 9 and 10 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, IRONMAN staff, athletes and community members will converge inside IRONMAN Village to build 50 youth bikes that will be donated to local military families stationed at Travis Air Force Base through a partnership with Blue Star Families.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to give back to communities like Santa Rosa that do so much to support IRONMAN,” said Chris Thornham, owner and co-founder of FLO Cycling. “We are elated to donate 50 bikes to 50 wonderful children and owe thanks to the IRONMAN Foundation and Blue Star Families for helping make this possible.”
“Military children serve alongside their parents and making the connections to support and celebrate them is at the heart of the Blue Star Families mission,” said Noeleen Tillman, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Star Families. “Partnerships like these where we come together to build community between the civilian community and our military families are invaluable. IRONMAN Foundation, FLO Cycling, and all the other volunteers are our Blue Star Neighbors.”
For information on Bike for a Kid, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/bike-for-a-kid.
Tubbs Wildfire Humanitarian Relief Effort
As part of the Humanitarian Relief Effort to support recovery from the Tubbs wildfire of 2017, the IRONMAN Foundation will return to the Santa Rosa area on Sunday, July 29, following the IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa triathlon for a rebuilding serviceproject. Volunteers that are interested in being a part of the rebuilding efforts, are able to sign up for the service project online and at Courthouse Square in IRONMAN Village during the “Bike for a Kid” project at this weekend’s IRONMAN Santa Rosa event.
“We are truly honored to support so many local organizations in assisting with the community’s wildfire recovery and to also have the opportunity to provide support for local Gold Star and Blue Star families,” said Sarah Hartmann, Acting Executive Director of the IRONMAN Foundation. “We invite our entire IRONMAN community to stop by the IRONMAN Foundation booth at Courthouse Square, build a Bike for a Kid and sign up to volunteer for the wildfire rebuilding project set for July 29. Together we can leave a lasting and tangible impact here in Santa Rosa.”
For information on the July 29 wildfire rebuilding project, please visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/santarosa.
IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador Mike Ergo – Flags4Fallen Initiative
Continuing the support of military members and their families, Marine Corps veteran and IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador Mike Ergo will engage with Flags4Fallen, which is a volunteer team that recruits athletes to carry a full-sized U.S. Flag to the finish line for families who have lost a loved one too soon. Ergo, who completed two l tours in Iraq, including the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 has used triathlon to battle the demons of PTSD while finding a way to keep alive the memory of his 29 fallen battalion brothers. Through this initiative, Ergo will be keeping the memory of another fallen soldier alive as he carries an American flag throughout the marathon course in honor of U.S. Army Cpl. Josh Kynoch, a Santa Rosa native who was killed in action in Iraq on October 1, 2005. Cpl. Kynoch’s mother Linda and 13-year-old daughter, Savannah will attend the race on Saturday to receive the flag from Ergo.
As IRONMAN celebrates its 40th Anniversary, Ergo was selected as a “40 Years of Dreams” ambassador and will share his personal IRONMAN journey at the IRONMAN Santa Rosa Welcome Ceremony taking place on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Courthouse Square. Ergo’s vision is to see Gold Star families honored at IRONMAN events around the country by having veterans carry flags in honor of fallen service members and reconnecting Gold Star families with their communities. “Gold Star families are often forgotten, because we feel uncomfortable and don’t know what to say,” said Ergo. “But for us to truly heal the emotional wounds of war, we need them as much as they need us.”
For more information on Flags4Fallen, please visit https://www.facebook.com/flags4fallen/.
About FLO Cycling
FLO Cycling is a Las Vegas-based company that engineers cycling products. FLO Cycling uses revenues to fund “Bike for a Kid”, a program that donates bikes to less fortunate children, and “One Wheel One Tree”, a program that plants trees. Learn more about FLO Cycling at http://www.flocycling.com.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and served more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
About The IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN 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 6,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN 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, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN 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, 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 200 events across 50 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.