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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - April 23, 2009 - Trips for Kids (TFK) today announced it has taken 50,000 underserved urban youth on mountain bike rides since its inception more than 20 years ago. 

 

"I'm proud that our efforts have helped thousands of young people experience the world's natural beauty and the excitement of completing a physical challenge--and so many more still need our help," said Marilyn Price, founding director of Trips for Kids.

 

"There are more young people than ever who need to get outside, understand how to take care of our environment, spend a day with caring, supportive adults, and get tired from good, enjoyable exercise."

 

More than 60 chapters advance the TFK mission. Located in a variety of communities, the groups identify at-risk youth and work through local youth services agencies to help them. Chapters are formed by a variety of individuals and organizations including environmental centers, schools, public health agencies, after-school learning centers, bike advocacy clubs, and non-profits like the YMCA, Boy Scouts, and Girls & Boys Clubs.

 

In many cases the kids they serve have never visited the nearby parks and outdoor areas. TFK provides the bicycles, helmets and other equipment, along with a trained ride leader and adult volunteers.

 

The children who participate in the rides receive safety instructions and are paired with adult ride buddies. Throughout the ride they learn environmental awareness as well as nutrition and fitness tips. Many of the participants report that the TFK mountain bike rides teach them to set goals and achieve them.

 

It takes TFK chapter leaders, volunteers, bicycle industry sponsors and individual donors to make TFK rides successful. Visit the TFK website, www.tripsforkids.org, to learn more about the program and to find a local chapter.

 

About Trips for Kids

 

Trips for Kids is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Marin County, California. With 60-plus chapters operating in the United States, Canada and Israel, Trips For Kids opens the world of cycling to at-risk youth through mountain bike rides and Earn-A-Bike programs. Trips for Kids started in 1988 as a grass roots effort by avid mountain biker, environmentalist and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Marilyn Price to provide inner-city youth a way to enjoy the outdoors and gain much-needed life skills.

 

Fueled by success in the San Francisco Bay Area, the national organization was launched in 1999 with the expanded mission to open as many chapters as possible in order to provide kids with lessons in personal responsibility, achievement and environmental awareness through the development of practical skills and the simple act of having fun through mountain biking.

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For a seventh consecutive year, World Triathlon Corporation will conduct its annual Ironman auction with eBay, designed to benefit a variety of charitable organizations worldwide. The Ironman Foundation has raised more than $2,500,000 through the initiative since its inception in 2003.

 

This year's auction will include four slots to the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship taking place on October 10 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The auction will begin on Sunday, April 19 and will incorporate four phases with one slot available per week. The minimum bid for slots to the event will begin at $10,000.   In 2008, Ironman recognized a multitude of groups that lent their support in each of the event market in addition to those organizations located in the two World Championship host cities. For example, a donation of $50,000 was extended to Clearwater for Youth (CFY), an organization that celebrated 40 years of service last year. With a mission of building character through sports, CFY provides support to area youth programs and participants in need, allowing children from all levels of society to play and learn together. 

 

Grants and donations were also made to the West Hawaii chapters of the following national organizations: The Ronald McDonald House, Boy Scouts of America, American Cancer Society and the Special Olympics, among others. Additionally, more than $40,000 in cash and supplies will be provided to The Hospice of Kona, PATH (Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii) and Kamakana Children's Playground in Kailua-Kona. Details on the organizations are below:
    • The Hospice of Kona will receive gear and apparel for Camp Erin, a bereavement retreat for children who have lost a parent or sibling.

    • PATH, striving to promote active living in a healthy community, will be acquiring a cargo van for use with camps and clinics that promote a bicycle education program to local families.

    • Kamakana Children's Playground, located at Higashihara Park was created in 1997 and is in desperate need of repair. The children's area is now being refurbished and will include 2,200 sq. ft. playground.

In addition to the opportunity to compete at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship, winners will also receive private athlete registration in Kona and four VIP packages, including race-day passes and invitations to race-week functions. Funding for the eBay auction does not have to be generated through one source, as fundraising efforts are acceptable. According to World Triathlon Corporation's President and CEO, Ben Fertic, all funds are tax-deductible and all proceeds go to The Ironman Foundation, which will in turn make donations to the organizations. Ironman covers all administrative costs to ensure all monies raised will directly benefit the selected charities.       To place a bid in this year's auction beginning on April 19, 2009, visit www.ironman.com .  All athlete inquiries can be directed to kona@ironman.com.
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For immediate release

 

Tune in Sunday, April 12, 2009, as NBC showcases the 2008 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, presented by Ford, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. EDT.

 

Shot on location on November 8, 2008, in Clearwater, Florida, one of the world's top beach destinations, the broadcast leads viewers on a fast-paced journey consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. The swim takes place in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, while the bike and run portions cover the picturesque areas throughout Pinellas County as well as the beaches of Clearwater.

 

Watch as New Zealand's Terenzo Bozzone and U.S. athlete Joanna Zeiger claim World Championship titles.  After taking first place at three 70.3 events in 2008, Bozzone battles some of the sport's bestincluding 2007 World Champion Andy Potts, Chris Legh, Oscar Galindez and Fraser Cartmellto claim his first World Championship title with a time of 3:40:10. 

 

Zeiger, also celebrating three 70.3 wins in 2008, dominates the half-marathon and beats a competitive field consisting of 2007 World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, Erika Csomor and Becky Lavelle to finish in 4:02:49. Both Bozzone and Zeiger set world records, eclipsing 2007 course times in more than two and four minutes, respectively.

 

In addition to a competitive professional field, nearly 1,200 age group athletes, ranging in age from 18 to 79 years old, crossed the finish line at the 2008 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3. Among them were inspirational athletes such as:

 

• Brian Boyle, 22, who was in a car accident that almost took his life.  He died eight times on the operating table and was told he may never walk again. Boyle, a talented collegiate swimmer, recovered and went on to challenge himself by participating in the 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Boyle earned another World Championship finish at the 2008 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3. With a goal of returning to Kona in 2009, Boyle plans to continue participating in Ironman and 70.3 events across the country.

 

• Team Hoyt, a father-and-son team that has completed nearly 1,000 athletic events, including Hawaii's Ironman World Championship and the Boston Marathon, continued to inspire viewers as they cross the finish line in 8 hours, 14 minutes and 36 seconds.

 

• Ricky James, 20, who was involved in a motocross accident four years ago that left him paralyzed.  After bike modifications, he has continued racing on the motocross scene. In 2008, James not only finished the Ford Ironman World Championship, but also added to his long list of accomplishments by completing the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in 5 hours, 30 minutes and 27 seconds.

 

Also in the spotlight are Kate Conklin and Robert MacLachlan. Conklin, 33, reaches the finish line despite her debilitating condition, Erythromelalgia. MacLachlan, 70, participates alongside his son in an effort to improve his quality of life.

 

For the second consecutive year, viewers will have the unique opportunity to view the 2009 Ironman Lottery winners. All 150 U.S. winners of coveted slots to the world's most challenging endurance event, the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, will be displayed at the end of the show. The sneak peek comes just days before the official announcement goes live on Ironman's website, www.ironman.com on Wednesday, April 15 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

 

The NBC broadcast of the Ironman World Championship has received numerous accolades throughout the last two decades, including more than 50 Emmy nominations, 15 Emmy awards, three prestigious CINE Golden Eagle awards and five International Monitor Awards for Global Excellence.

 

For more information on the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, visit www.ironman.com.

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