Dealer Grant Program and Elementary Physical Education
Tennessee endurance mountain bike racer Carey Lowery used her talent this year to raise money for two local elementary schools, one of which her 8 year old daughter attends. Over Memorial Day weekend, Carey raced solo at the Burn 24 Hour Challenge in North Carolina. Using this as a platform to raise money through pledges per lap, she was able to secure $5500 for the schools.
Prior to her race, Carey, along with several other local cyclists went to the schools and talked to the classes of City Park and Ingleside elementary schools about cycling, physical fitness, and nutrition.
Just last month she and The Outdoor Store, her local bike shop, presented a check to each school for $2750. This money will be used by the PE departments to purchase much needed equipment. In addition, with Specialized providing funding through its dealer grant program and through the generosity of several local businesses, Carey awarded prizes to the winners of her kids’ contest. The top 3 boys and girls from each school who were closest to guessing the number of miles she rode in 24 hours were awarded bikes, helmets, and gloves.
When asked about how difficult it was racing for 24 hours non-stop, Carey’s reply was, “Knowing that I was racing for a cause and not just my own personal goals, it really was not hard at all. I have done several 24 hour races, but this was the first one where I smiled on each and every one of the 27 laps (204 miles) I completed.”
Carey Lowery lives in Athens, Tennessee. Unfortunately Tennessee was named the second most obese state for 2010 by Trust for America’s Health. 20.6 percent of the children in Tennessee are obese. She hopes that she was able to reach out to the 500+ kids about the importance of exercising and eating right.
I feel that what happens locally, especially when it comes to children and childhood obesity is just as important, if not more, than Schlek's wedding or another roadie winning an international race. Hopefully Specialized will see it this way as well. They have an outstanding grant program that needs to be showcased. I did not even know about it until I accidentally stumbled upon it earlier this year.
Our kids are our future. If we Americans want to continue to podium on the international level, we all need to address this situation.
I hope to be able to continue to influence the children at City Park and Ingleside in the future. I was recently asked to be on the city school's health and fitness committee, to which I happily said, "Hell, yea!" We shall see what this one little grassroot's racer can do.