This summer we hosted a Bike Party &Trike-A-Thon to raise money for our niece Nadine. We had a great time and more than doubled our fundraising goal.
My husband, Shane and I believe it is our responsibility to raise our children to help others, especially family. Fundraising is difficult at best. It’s even more challenging when trying to raise money for just one child living in a foreign land.
My solution, naturally was to throw a party. We held a mini-Trike-A-Thon in Cape Coral, FL ahead of Nadine’s official walk. (Yes, the idea was borrowed from St. Jude)
|Cousins Nadine and Ava celebrate in Co. Tipperary after the official walk|
Nadine was born with Spina Bifida and is unable to use her legs. Like most 5 year old kids, Nadine wants to ride a bike with the other kids in the neighborhood.
A hand peddled bike is wildly expensive but incredible therapy for a child with Spina Bifida. NE Fitness Ireland, a fitness center in her home town in Co. Tipperary came to the rescue. Owners Elaine and Noel organized a benefit walk/run to raise funds for the custom built hand trike to help Nadine build upper body strength for greater mobility and independence.
|Noel & Elaine help Nadine get a hand trike|
I’m getting ahead of myself. Back at the party we also had a table of supplies to help kids embellish their bikes, trikes and scooters. Left over paper party plates were used for race numbers. Kids added foam and glittery stickers. We attached their custom designs with colorful zip ties from the Dollar Tree.
|Bryce & Kaely are ready to ride!|
To add excitement to our party we added decorations, an obstacle course, snacks, a photo banner, and even favors for the participants.
|Riders in all sizes showed up to Ride for Nadine|
I asked a friend to collect donations for me. Asking people to help at an event does not burden them, it makes them feel involved. When people are involved they have a good time and you get to work the crowd.
|The course is this way!|
Our park has concrete walking paths that form a large figure 8. Inside the far loop is a large sandy area with a playground in the center. We called this the fast track. The confidant riders were allowed to cruise the loop with wild abandon, but parents could still keep a watchful eye on the daredevils.
|Parents were placed at cross roads to direct traffic.|
We set up a chalk “balance” beam and cones to ride around on the second loop. This slowed the experienced riders and gave them a chance to test their skills. The slow pace created a safer course for the younger kids on trikes and in strollers.
|Obstacles make the course exciting.|
|Foam road signs (top left) embellish the route|
Inside the park pavilion we stretched a large white piece of paper across one of the tables with photos of Nadine tacked on. I wrote “Nadine, Ride in the Direction of Your Dreams!” in large black letters. Everyone, big and small signed the banner.
|Nadine, Ride in the direction of your dreams!|
We gave Nadine the banner with our donations. NE Fitness Ireland used it to start their official walk!
|Our Gracie encourages guests to enjoy refreshments.|
We wanted to keep the snacks fresh and sporty.We served our guests fresh watermelon and water. Our guests also brought food to share. (People are so thoughtful.) We sent each guest home with a Nature Valley Granola Bar.
|Hand written tags to emphasize my gratitude.|
Thanks to social media, local business and the generous children in our live we were able to contribute a beautiful donation to the Walk/Run for Nadine.
|Ava & I hand Elaine or donations while Nadine looks on.|
|Lucky me! I get to push Nadine through the beautiful back road of Co. Tipperary!|