Trips for Kids fundraiser in Marin County December 7

Nonprofit also forms Israel chapter

Trips for Kids' annual "Brews, Bikes and Bucks" party will be held Sunday, December 7, 2008 at the Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafeal, California from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"Brews, Bikes and Bucks", a popular event features local beer, terrific raffle prizes, delicious food and the chance to hobnob with famous mountain biking pioneers. Admission is free and all proceeds benefit Trips for Kids, the Marin-based non-profit that has improved the lives of disadvantaged kids through trail rides and earn-a-bike programs for more than 20 years.

Now in its 11th year, this fundraiser has become a much-anticipated tradition. Mountain biking legends to attend in the past have included Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, Ned Overend, Scot Nicol, Jacquie Phelan, Otis Guy, Ross Shafer, Charlie Kelly, Mert Lawwill and Chris Lang.

"Many of us take for granted the pleasure of getting out in Marin parks and wild areas and enjoying a bike ride," said Marilyn Price, Trips for Kids founder. "That simple experience isn't available to everyone, though - especially to a number of vulnerable, inner-city kids. Our goal has always been to help set that straight a little bit. This fundraiser lends a big hand by supporting our entire program."

Bike-related prizes will be raffled throughout the afternoon. The grand prize will be a dual suspension Jamis Dakar XCR Sport mountain bike worth US$1,475,  donated by Jamis Bicycles. A silent auction will include other items such as a 2009 Marin Bikes Alpine Trail 29er mountain bike.

Advance raffle tickets are on sale at the Broken Drum Brewery (1132 Fourth Street, San Rafael, California) and at the Trips for Kids' Re-Cyclery Thrift Shop in the same town. Raffle tickets will also be available at the event. Ticket holders need not be present to win. All event profits will benefit Trips for Kids.

Trips for Kids Israel chapter

Trips for Kids recently formed its first overseas chapter - Trips for Kids Israel - Samson Riders Bicycle Club (TFK Israel-SRBC).

Located in Beit Shemesh, Israel, Trips for Kids' newest chapter provides disadvantaged Yehuda Plains youth a chance to experience the joy and challenge of mountain biking in nature, something they would not typically be able to enjoy.

"The Samson Riders Bicycle Club is very excited to become part of the Trips for Kids family," said Renee Halpert, communication coordinator for TFK Israel-SRBC. "Many children and youth from our region will reach new heights of success because of this important association."

TFK Israel-SRBC was created on the foundation of the community group, the Samson Riders Bicycle Club (SRBC). One of SRBC's exceptional programs, Riding for Co-Existence, brings Israeli Jewish and Arab youth together to ride, learn about each other, break down social barriers, discover new interests and respect the land.

"We believe that with the support of TFK, we can continue to expand this program to involve youth from these and other ethnic communities in the planning and implementation of rides for their peers," Halpert said.

Across North America, and now in the Middle East, Trips for Kids chapters take low-income, inner-city and otherwise at-risk youth out of the city for mountain bike rides, which often turn out to be 'the rides of their lives.'

A simple concept with rich dividends, Trips for Kids chapters have touched the lives of nearly 50,000 young people during its more than 20-year history. Trips for Kids' organizes mountain bike rides to help youth have fun while gaining confidence, riding skills, a greater appreciation for the natural world and exposure to the lifelong benefits of exercise.

"Each TFK Chapter is distinct, with different staffing and volunteer levels depending on the type and size of its program," said Marilyn Price, Trips for Kids founder.  "Some chapters have been started by organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, Police Athletics League and cycling clubs. Several have evolved from public and private non-profit organizations committed to serving underprivileged youth, e.g. charter schools, treatment centers and public health agencies. While the communities served by each chapter are unique, the youth share a common need - they are low-income kids facing an array of personal challenges." 

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