Rappstar Charity Challenge Raises $100,000
photo: David McColm 2011
Professional Triathlete Jordan Rapp doesn’t win Ironman events for all the glory – he wins them for a cause. Including 2009 Ironman Arizona and 2009 and 2011 Ironman Canada, Jordan’s Ironman victories have left an imprint in communities in rural Zambia through his annual Rappstar Charity Challenge for World Bicycle Relief (WBR).
WBR first met Jordan at Interbike 2009 when Zipp invited their sponsored athletes to sign autographs at the WBR booth. Jordan was clearly inspired by WBR’s work--so much so that only two weeks later Jordan had an amazing fundraising challenge up and running. Katie Bolling, Director of Grassroots Fundraising for World Bicycle Relief said of Jordan, “To say it was impressive to see an athlete at his level dedicate time to our mission is an understatement. Jordan was a living testimony that, despite how busy we think we are, there is always time to give back.”
Congratulations to Rapp for being named a 2011 Top-10 Triathlete!
In 2009, Jordan set a fundraising goal of $15,000--enough to fund 100 bikes and the training of two field mechanics through WBR’s Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP). The program, which will provide 50,000 bikes to rural secondary-aged school students in Zambia, has already placed over 16,000 bikes in the field to assist children getting to school. Jordan surpassed his goal and ultimately raised $23,000!
Coming off two major victories in 2009, 2010 looked like another promising year for Rapp’s career. However, in March of 2010, Jordan suffered a major setback when he was involved in a nearly fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident in California. “From that point on, there was no talk of his charity challenge or racing,” said Bolling, “the entire SRAM, Zipp and WBR family were just concerned for Jordan’s well being. We were extremely happy to learn that he would regain his health”. And regain his health he did – only 8 months later, Jordan was not only lined up for the 2010 Ironman Arizona but was already planning his second annual Rappstar Charity Challenge for WBR. In 2010, he engaged his sponsors and supporters to a new standard and went on to raise $37,905 while finishing with an impressive 4th place in Arizona.
Now, at the close of 2011, Jordan has nearly reached the $100,000 mark for his total fundraising number for WBR. Coming off major victories at both 2011 Ironman Canada and ITU Long Course World Championships, his 3rd annual Rappstar Charity Challenge for WBR was poised for success with a win in Arizona looking like a strong possibility. While plans changed on race day due to an unfortunate stomach bug, Jordan was still considered the champion to WBR as his fundraising totals reached $37,369– his highest number to date. “He’s now funded 712 bikes in Zambia. He’s winning races and changing lives through giving back through what he loves,” says Bolling. “He recognizes that through just $134--the price of one WBR bike and a fraction of the cost of his racing bike--that a life can be changed. And, he’s involving the entire Ironman community. It’s a special story and we’re very proud to be a part of it.”