The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival donated $30,000 to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota from the proceeds of the 2012 festival. The funds will be used to help build a children's hospice and respite care home in the Twin Cities to serve children throughout the upper Midwest who have a shortened life-expectancy and their families. While there are over 4,700 hospice homes for adults in the United States, there are only 3 for children, located in San Francisco, Phoenix and Baltimore. Organizers of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival also announced that Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota would continue as their charity in 2013.
“We’re very gratified to be able to support Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota,” said Festival director David LaPorte. “We’ve been supporting pediatric charities since we started in 1999 and, without a doubt, our efforts are having their biggest impact on this budding organization. In addition to raising money, we want to help build awareness of the need for this facility. We’re convinced that, if others in the community became aware of this need, they’d step forward as well.”
A dedicated group of about 100 volunteers make up the core planning committee for the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, who donate their time each year so that a local charity can receive proceeds from the Festival events that stretch from the Twin Cities to Cannon Falls, Stillwater and Menomonee, WI. Over 800 total volunteer roles are filled each year to help transform city streets to be race-ready in less than three hours during the days of the Festival.
“It’s an honor to be given this gift – to build awareness of our mission in the communities we will one day serve,” said Katie Lindenfelser, Executive Director of Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota. “It was exhilarating to be a part of the Festival, to be right there in the middle of the action, we cannot wait until next year!”
About Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota
The mission of Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota is to offer child and family-focused respite and end-of-life care to children with a shortened life-expectancy. Children’s hospice and respite care homes around the world are primarily funded by community philanthropy and Children’s Lighthouse believes that Minnesotans have the means to make this home a reality for children and families here, too. Children’s Lighthouse is anon-profit 501(c)(3). ww w.ChildrensLighthouseMN.org.
About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival
Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is an eleven-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Festival included the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic at the National Sports Center Velodrome, followed by the marquee event, the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The stage race has become the top event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American and international racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. The festival a lso included activities like kids’ fun races, recreational rides, stunt rider shows, lifestyle expos and live music to celebrate the cycling culture. Major sponsors of the annual event include Nature Valley, Xcel Energy and Optum. For more information, visit www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.