HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses partnered with the Bobby Labonte Foundation for this year’s Charity Bike Ride in High Point, North Carolina, which hosted more than 250 cyclists and raised $50,000 for three local nonprofit organizations. Thomas Built Buses served as the title sponsor for the event.
The Bobby Labonte Foundation was founded by NASCAR champion racecar driver and High Point businessman Bobby Labonte. The foundation’s Charity Bike Ride began in 2011 to advance the Bobby Labonte Foundation’s mission to support children and families in the Triad area. This is the first year Thomas Built Buses has joined the event as the title sponsor.
“We are proud to welcome Thomas Built Buses to the Bobby Labonte Foundation’s Charity Bike Ride this year,” said Labonte. “The company’s focus and the employees’ personal commitment to the community are inspiring. We are really excited to have a partner to work alongside us in doing something great. It’s the bicycle that brings us all together, but this is really about helping people right here in our hometown.”
This year’s events included a “Bicycle Art Meets Form” gallery exhibit at Theater Art, a VIP ride and luncheon and an evening silent auction and cocktail party, in addition to the Charity Bike Ride, which included 40 km, 60 km, and 100 km options. All of the proceeds from the events will fund grants for High Point LEAP, Millis Regional Health Education Center and Ready for School, Ready for Life.
High Point LEAP strives to empower children from early literacy through 12th grade who are living in poverty to succeed academically while developing skills to become 21st-century leaders, and to strengthen their families through literacy programs and educational resources.
The grant from the Bobby Labonte Foundation will address risky behaviors that can lead to gang involvement, low academic performance and school suspensions that boys six to 18 years old from fatherless homes and low-income communities face, and to combat these risk factors by engaging youth in their Boys2Men evidence-based program to help boys achieve academically, develop character and leadership skills, and grow in integrity in preparation for their roles in society.
Millis Regional Health Education Center is a nonprofit regional health education center that seeks to teach school students, church groups, local organizations and individuals in the community about the human body and how to keep themselves healthy. The Bobby Labonte Foundation grant will be used to purchase new exercise bicycles for the center’s Wellness Discovery Room to help address childhood obesity and the health risks associated with obesity.
Each year, more than 8,000 students visit the Wellness Discovery Room to learn how to help keep their bodies healthy and strong. Future students will have a chance to try the new exercise bikes as part of an interactive lesson, teaching them how long they need to stay active every day to stay healthy. These exercise bikes will entertain and educate thousands of children every year, while becoming a valuable part of the Millis experience.
Ready for School, Ready for Life is tasked with building a connected, innovative early childhood system of care to help improve the healthy development of young children and their families. Today, no such system exists and, as a result, only 45 percent of Guilford County children arrive in kindergarten ready for school.
Their system-building work is focused on 10 priorities that use a collective impact approach, working with 60+ agencies/organizations across Guilford County that contribute to and lead this work. Ready for School, Ready for Life will use the Bobby Labonte Foundation contribution to advance its early literacy strategy in High Point through Active Reading training, book distribution and expansion of the LENA Start program. That helps parents develop interactive talking habits with their children and provides parents with powerful resources.
In addition to the main events, Thomas Built Buses built 30 bicycles and distributed them to the local YMCA of High Point and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point. Representatives from Thomas Built and the Bobby Labonte Foundation distributed the bikes and visited with organization youth to discuss the benefits of health and wellness.
“The families of the High Point community are very important us,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Over the past 100 years, the town of High Point has been instrumental in our growth and success. As a member of this community, we are privileged to be able to give back a portion of what has been given to us. We are honored to partner with the Bobby Labonte Foundation’s Charity Bike Ride this year and to support families in our area.”
To find out more about the 2018 Bobby Labonte Foundation Charity Bike Ride visit bobbylabontefoundation.org.
About Thomas Built Buses
Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at thomasbuiltbuses.com or at facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.
Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.
About Bobby Labonte Foundation
The Bobby Labonte Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by NASCAR champion and businessman Bobby Labonte in 2003. The Bobby Labonte Foundation vision is a cohesive community in which parents and families are empowered to fulfill children’s needs and together find joy, love and happiness. The Bobby Labonte Foundation works in partnership with the local community and community organizations to empower parents, families and children to build a strong foundation for children’s futures. For more information, visit www.bobbylabontefoundation.org or follow the Bobby Labonte Foundation on Facebook.