SAN RAFAEL, CA (BRAIN)—Trips for Kids Twentieth Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction raised $125,000 for its youth cycling programs.
More than 200 patrons enjoyed an evening of wine, food, music, live auction, video montage of participating kids and a special presentation announcing November 3, 2007 as Trips for Kids Day in Marin County and the cities of San Rafael and Mill Valley.
Celebrity guests included Trips for Kids honorary board members Robin Williams (pictured) and Gary Fisher.
"The anniversary event was a wonderful tribute to the generosity of hundreds of individual donors, companies, foundations and members of the cycling industry that have supported us through the years," said founding director Marilyn Price (pictured), who holds a place in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame for her work with Trips for Kids.
"We were excited to see Robin and so many of our long time supporters. Their message to us is always—'Keep up the good work.' With the money we raised and the support we felt, we are ready to launch Trips for Kids into the next 20 years," she added.
As part of the evening's program, past participants, industry representatives and organization patrons discussed the organizations efforts over the past 20 years.
Leslie, a 16-year-old from Oakland's inner city, shared her thoughts about her first Trips for Kids ride experience. "At first I thought 'Wow, this is different.' and I was unsure of myself when I got on my bike." Leslie said. "After we rode to the beach, I planted my feet in the sand and looked out over the big ocean. I thought, 'Every kid should have a chance to get away from drugs and violence and enjoy the freedom and happiness I feel today.'"
Gary Soquist, advocacy director for Quality Bike Products and active volunteer at the TFK Chapter in Twin Cities, Minn., discussed the impact the organization's rides can have on participating youth.
"On behalf of the bicycle industry, I would like to thank Trips for Kids for their efforts," Soquist said. "Many kids have never had a successful experience in organized sports. The Trips for Kids bike rides continue to give these students a real sense of achievement."
In recognition of Trips for Kids' 20 years helping underserved youth develop fitness, confidence, riding skills, and an appreciation for nature, Marin County and the cities of San Rafael and Mill Valley, Calif., proclaimed November 3, 2007 as Trips for Kids Day. The resolution encourages community members to honor this day by promoting cycling activities that benefit disadvantaged youth in Marin and across the country.
The evening's highest bidders went home with top of the line Maverick and Ellsworth mountain bikes, a week's stay at a Sonoma vineyard estate, a Western Spirit mountain bike trip on the White Rim Trail, a Mount Tamaulipas ride with Gary Fisher and a cycling trip to Tuscany courtesy American Airlines and Trek Travel.
Gold Level Sponsors for the event included Thomas Weisel Partners, Marin Community Foundation and the Richard T. Busby Memorial Fund.