World Bicycle Relief is very excited to announce the newest Team WBR Ambassadors! In its fourth year, the Team WBR Ambassador Program, backed by our amazing sponsors, loads up a select few supporters and athletes with awesome gear and fundraising tools that will help them in their year-long adventure to transform lives through the Power of Bicycles. Each Ambassador is challenged to raise $15,900–a sum that will provide 100 bicycles to students and healthcare workers in rural Africa as well as train ten mechanics to keep bikes up and running. We had an extraordinarily competitive group of applicants which made the decision particularly challenging but we are excited to announce our Team WBR Ambassadors for 2016. Please take a moment to meet each of our new Ambassadors!
Jim Vint, Endurance Cyclist & Triathlete
An endurance athlete from Winnetka, Illinois, Jim Vint has always sought to compete in his sport for a cause instead of just for big wins or race medals. Passionate about international development due in part to his travels throughout the developing world, Jim firmly believes in the importance of giving back and helping others, and is committed to instilling those values in his two children, who he refers to as the “hearts of the household.”
Involved with World Bicycle Relief since 2014 when he first heard of the organization at the annual Winter & Wine, Jim has been an active supporter of the Power of Bicycles through a variety of fundraisers and races and has played a role in raising $30,000 over that time. For 2016, Jim will plow through an impressive lineup of races, including triathlons and marathons, the Horrible Hilly Hundred and IRONMAN Wisconsin. Sporting WBR gear at every event, Jim is excited to share about the organization and its impact on the race course and off, planning to take every opportunity to share about the cause. Jim’s enduring commitment to World Bicycle Relief and to his sport make him a perfect addition to the lineup of Team WBR Ambassadors!
Jessie Donavan and Griffin Schneider, Mother/Son Duo
Jessie Donavan and her son, Griffin (age 13) are Team WBR’s first mother-son duo! Hailing from Shelburne, Vermont, triathlete Jessie’s life is filled to the brim with constant movement, from long triathlons to relaxing Saturday hikes with Griffin and her other two children, Eliot and Ava. Jessie raced her first 70.3 triathlon in 2009, and by 2012 had placed 2nd in her age group. Over the next few years, she would go on to win three IRONMANs and stand on numerous podiums. Jessie is always up for a big challenge, which she recently proved by overcoming significant injuries after being hit by a truck while training on Cape Cod. All the recovery time gave her a lot of time to think, and the result was she wants to get back on her wheels and support WBR. As a mother of three, Jessie loves the educational aspect of WBR’s programs and greatly appreciates the environmental initiatives as well.
Griffin first learned about the life of kids in developing countries who couldn’t always access education from his South African gym teacher, who told stories of walking hours a day to get to school. When he heard about WBR from his mom, he saw the connection and wanted to be a part of providing life-changing transportation to kids across the globe.
Jessie and Griffin have both been involved with fundraising for WBR over the past years. In fact, Griffin is a bit of a celebrity around WBR. In 2012, Griffin rode his bike three miles each way to school every day of his third grade year and single-handedly raised $3,000. He also cycled to nearby schools to share about the Power of Bicycles with other school kids in his area. His mom, Jessie, has been his biggest supporter during all of his racing and fundraising, and meanwhile has been sporting WBR logos and gear for all of her major races. Together, the duo plan to continue to work with local schools and communities to promote WBR, set up booths at local farmers markets and take on an epic adventure together in addition to Jessie’s race schedule. Their goal? To achieve and surpass the $15,900 fundraising goal that will provide life-changing bicycles in Africa.
Carlos Perea, MTB and Cyclocross Racer
Carlos Perea has experienced first hand the Power of Bicycles as he has seen his own bike give him personal freedom, fitness, clarity and community in his life in Medford, Massachusetts. Introduced to cycling as a sport by a college friend, Carlos started out as a road cyclist, but began dabbling in mountain biking after winning a new mountain bike at a fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief!
First learning about WBR from the Fat Cyclist, Carlos has been passionate about the empowerment that a bicycle gives to a person, and how that power expands to their family and community. An employee of Yahoo, Carlos has been driving a new grant process through the Yahoo Employee Fund to donate over $50,000 to WBR in 2015, and hoping for another $50,000 in the new year. He is also well connected with his local cycling shops and organizations in the New England region, and knows those connections will be great platforms for him to share the Power of Bicycles during his year as an Ambassador. With an impressive lineup of races spanning the country in 2016, Carlos is sure to be an amazing advocate for World Bicycle Relief as a Team WBR Ambassador.
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Join the Movement
Use your passion, creativity and skills to fundraise this #YearoftheBicycle. Whether you’re a baker, biker, or ballet dancer, you can engage your community to support your efforts and make a world of difference. By fundraising for World Bicycle Relief, you will empower others to move forward boldly on two wheels.