Pilot program to visit in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva, which aims to develop young Israeli cyclists.
Wish for Wheels is excited to announce a continuing partnership with Israel Cycling Academy and the Israel Cycling Federation. Underwritten by the Goldrich Family Foundation, this new program will launch during the start of the 2018 Giro d’Italia as it rolls through Israel for the first time. The pilot of this program kick starts the race as new bikes and helmets are given to over 350 kids in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva.
The Giro d’Italia, which started in 1909, has had 47 editions with the start on Italian soil. In 1965, the race made its first foreign start in San Marino and starts outside of Italy every 2 years. This is the first year any Grand Tour has ever left Europe. Adding to the excitement of the race is Israel’s 70th anniversary as a country this year!
Wish for Wheels is a nonprofit organization that gives new bikes and helmets to kids through corporate partnerships where companies fund, build and give bikes. With over 130 people in the Wish for Wheels Cycling Club, some members have met and ridden with the Israeli team and their supporter, the Goldrich Family Foundation. This pilot program has been developed by Ran Margaliot, who runs the Israeli team. Brad Appel, founder of Wish for Wheels; Sharon Madison, who runs the Wish for Wheels Cycling Club; and John Genell, a Wish for Wheels board member, have worked with Melinda Goldrich (Executive Director, The Goldrich Family Foundation) to implement and deliver this program.
The excitement in Israel is incredible around the Giro d’Italia and now the anticipation is building for the pilot program. “It is clear that doing something with kids resonates with Israelis,” says Melinda. The foundation has had a relationship with Israel Cycling Academy since 2015 and is transitioning into supporting this pilot program benefiting Israeli youth. This program will start in northern Israel and travel south giving bikes to local bike clubs. Each club aims to kick start youth cycling with the use of new bikes and helmets.
“We have seen tremendous positive impact giving new bikes to kids in the U.S. By developing these clubs to engage kids in the community, will no doubt bring a huge positive impact to Israel while developing more young cyclists,” says Brad Appel of Wish for Wheels. The excitement around this program is palpable as the bikes will be donated while the race rolls through the local communities.
About Wish for Wheels
Wish for Wheels is a Denver based nonprofit whose mission is to transform the lives of kids from low-income families, broadening their scope for personal growth and a healthy lifestyle through the gift of a new bicycle. Wish for Wheels has given away over 30,000 new bikes and helmets mainly working with companies to do Team Builds, corporate philanthropy, and positive social change. Learn more about Wish for Wheels and the Cycling Club at www.wishforwheels.org.
About The Goldrich Family Foundation
Started in 1987 by founder Jona Goldrich. Now operated in his memory by daughters Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Goldrich Cayton. GFF is a private nonprofit foundation operating under California state laws. It focuses on charitable, religious, literary, artistic and educational purposes for the benefit of Jewish (and other selected) charities. Holocaust education, Jewish continuity, and programming in Israel are current focuses.
About Israel Cycling Academy
Israel Cycling Academy is Israel’s first and only professional cycling team. Hundreds of professional teams currently compete all around the world. Not one of them, however, is like Israel Cycling Academy, and not necessarily because of its athletic prowess. ICA is the only team whose budget is based mainly on philanthropy, and although it is an Israeli team, it is open to all cyclists regardless of religion or nationality. Israel Cycling Academy is dedicated to giving young Israeli riders the opportunity to fulfill their potential as professional cyclists. Using its achievements at some of the world’s largest and most prestigious races, Israel Cycling Academy aims to inspire an entire generation of Israeli youth and introduce them to the sport.
According to the team’s philosophy, cycling has the ability to break conceptual barriers, to teach life skills, and bring people together. “We are living in a complicated region,” says General Manager Ran Margaliot, “but we truly believe in the ability of this sport to help drive change. It is much more than a professional sport we are aiming to promote here. It is a way of life.”