Friday, December 10, 2010

Hundreds of Santa's Helpers to Build 2,400 Bikes at "Bike Build"

A great event to help out needy children is coming to the convention center this weekend, just in time for the holidays! Please have a look at the press release below.

Press Release 
Jodi Engle 

Ori Nagel

TurningWheels for Kids Grants Holiday Wishes
Hundreds of Santa’s Helpers to Build 2,400 Bikes for Needy Kids on Saturday, December 11, 2010

San Jose, Calif. – December 9, 2010 – BMX riders and X-Games Gold Medalists Ryan Nyquist and Joey Garcia are challenging Silicon Valley corporate execs in a tricycle race at this year’s Bike Build on Saturday, December 11th, 2010. In its sixth year, Big Bike Build 2010, presented by TurningWheels for Kids, will gather more than 700 volunteers to build 2,400 bikes for underprivileged kids in one day at the San Jose Convention Center’s South Hall, 435 S. Market St., San Jose. 

The work whistle will blow at 8 a.m. with bicycle construction peaking at 11 a.m. when volunteers will set down their tools to watch the first-ever Great Tricycle Race, pitting the pros against local all-stars:
Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles
Dan Fenton, CEO of Team San Jose
Rich Gamboa, Vice President of UBS
Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Joe Parisi, CEO and Founder of Therma Corp.
Joe Rodriguez, Columnist for the San Jose Mercury News 
Josh Thompson, former Strikeforce Mixed Martial Arts champ
Wes Wasson, Chief Marketing Officer and Sr. Vice President of Citrix Systems

Nyquist has taken the Dirt Crown twice in the Dew Tour (’09 and ’10) and won 13 X-Game medals in his legendary BMX career, spanning more than 15 years. Garcia won the Gold medal at the 1996 X-Games and Bronze medals at the 1995 and 1998 X-Games. Their participation was arranged by volunteer Mathew Mardesich, president and CEO of ROG & Co., Inc., which develops action-sport terrain parks for kids.

Twenty children from CityTeam Ministries will also participate in Bike Build and help build the bikes they’ll take home, along with a helmet and lock. The remaining bikes will be given to more than 25 Bay Area charitable organizations for distribution.

TurningWheels for Kids was the vision of Susan Runsvold, a nurse manager at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, who wanted to buy bikes at Christmas and give them to underprivileged children; children she believed might otherwise not receive any present from Santa. Runsvold began what she hoped would be a tradition of collecting money from her friends and colleagues to purchase as many bikes as possible for holiday distribution. 
“A bike is still the No. 1 requested item by children above an iPod or video game or anything else,” states Runsvold. “A bike provides a child with—not only health benefits—but a great deal of independence and joy.”

To date, TurningWheels for Kids has raised nearly $900,000 to purchase new bikes and helmets, and it has recently started to visit local neighborhoods to assist with and teach children routine maintenance of the bikes. Thanks to two individual donors who pay all modest administrative fees, 100 percent of donations go to buying bikes and helmets.
Each year, the bikes are bought in bulk, costing on average $85 for a bike and helmet, and are built by hundreds of volunteers coming together for one day of group bike construction, with thousands of children receiving a brand new bike and safety helmet. 

TurningWheels for Kids is a program of the Valley Medical Center Foundation. Every year there are more requests than bikes. This year there are requests for 3,100 bikes and only supply for 2,400. You can lend your support by making a donation at


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