IRONMAN Foundation Annual Auction Creates Lasting Impact in Zimbabwe
Over the past several years, The IRONMAN Foundation and World Bicycle Relief (WBR) have formed a unique partnership. This past May, that relationship broke new ground, extending beyond the IRONMAN event itself and reaching the masses. The IRONMAN Foundation’s Annual Auction, allowing athletes to bid on one of six coveted slots to the IRONMAN World Championship in October, chose WBR as one of its beneficiaries this year. It’s with great pride and honor that we announce that the auction benefiting WBR raised a life-changing $35,100! This amount, designated to benefit WBR’s Wheels in the Field Bike Month Campaign, will help expand WBR’s Bicycle for Educational Empowerment Program into Zimbabwe and will provide over 240 bicycles for students in rural Zimbabwe.
The winner of the charity auction slot, hailing from New York City, explained why she was specifically excited to support WBR’s slot in the auction:
“First off, the Big Island is my favorite place on earth. I've been visiting for years, and the thought of doing the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii has always been in the back of my mind. I decided that this would be the year to give it a go. I have run marathons, but due to my lack of triathlon experience, earning a qualifying spot seemed unlikely.
So I was excited to see WBR as a beneficiary in the auction, and felt really good about supporting a charity to earn my spot. I was only able to place the winning bid due to the generosity of my employer, Kingdon Capital Management, who encourages philanthropy via matching donations.”
The IRONMAN Foundation has been supporting World Bicycle Relief for three years and has made contributions that have enabled WBR to provide over 1,000 bikes to communities in rural Africa. When asked about the impact of The IRONMAN Foundation’s continued support for WBR, the Foundation’s Director, Dave Deschenes expressed, “As IRONMAN athletes, we all know how important our bike can be. WBR’s programs show just how much of an impact a bike can make. IRONMAN is honored to have partnered with WBR this year.”
IRONMAN athletes who support World Bicycle Relief will be pleased to hear that that partnership will continue to grow and WBR’s Buffalo Bicycles will once again be present in Kona for the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship. Stay tuned for more information on this growing partnership and how you can support WBR through your participation in IRONMAN events.