Color me impressed that for the second year in a row, we have been blessed with donors who contributed to our youth (age 18 and under) here in Iowa so they could race their mountain bikes at our events without having to worry about entry fees.
When I began as director of the IMBCS, I remember well my struggle with the need to find a focus – or rather a cause to champion as director. An excellent idea was spawned at a race that was being held at Seven Oaks in the middle of a video taped television interview several years ago. As I visited with an old friend – Mr. Paul Varnum – who was standing nearby, he said “I think you just found your cause!” We were tossing out ideas, and the idea of making it easier for the future generation of mountain bikers here in Iowa to race sprang to the top of the list as a result of that interview.
I shopped that idea around to various potential sponsors only to be met with blank stares. I didn’t let that deter me, however. So I turned to crowd funding to test the waters last year. We were able to raise nearly enough money last year to cover all of our age 18 and under racers, and parents seemed to like the idea.
Photo courtesy of Karl Bengston from the FORC Side Thrill Ride
Fast forward to the 2017 season where we tried crowd fund raising again thanks to our non-profit, charitable giving status set up through IBRA, the IRS, and GoFundMe/PayPal Charitable fund raising. I am happy to report we raised $2830 dollars thanks to the following generous donors:
Harry & Raelene Fortney
Natalie & Dan Rekemeyer
Iowa City Cycling Club
Ben and Ingrid Anderson
Bruce Brown & Tara Starr
Please join me in thanking this list of generous donors who made racing for our age 18 and under racers possible during the 2017 season. Our youth represent the future of our sport, and I was tickled to have their entry fees covered. Also, special thanks goes to Mr. Larry Howe – treasurer of our parent organization IBRA (Iowa Bicycle Racing Association) – for the administration of writing the checks to our race directors, and getting it all set up properly with the IRS for charitable donations and the accounting aspect of our crowd funding.
For those of you who might be interested in donating in the future, keep in mind that a charitable contribution to this fund is a tax deductible contribution if you itemize your deductions. My wife and I have always been committed to giving away a minimum of 5% of our AGI to charity every year, so I know how important it is to choose where you make your contributions. I know that there are many organizations that you can direct your charitable contributions toward, so I humbly thank the donors for choosing to direct some of those funds toward the 2017 IMBCS Youth Entry Fee Campaign Fund.
As a community, it has been great to see everyone come together and contribute. The number of youth entry fees covered for 2017 rose to 134. I would love to see that number reach 150 during the 2018 season.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on sponsors for 2018 to join in on our campaign to make racing available for our state’s youth for mountain bike racing, please contact me. We would welcome corporate sponsorship, small business sponsorship, and of course continued crowd funding individual sponsorship to get our youth out on the trails racing their bikes.
A huge round of applause and thanks again to our donors for the 2017 season! You made ’em all smile…
Photo courtesy of Karl Bengston from the George Wyth MTB Race