Bikes for Kids Utah Annual Dinner Auction Raises $17,000 to Provide Bikes to 1,000 Second Graders Addressing the largest dinner audience in Bikes for Kids' history, Utah and BYU alumni football players spoke about making a difference in the lives of individual children
SALT LAKE CITY - Sept. 3, 2009 - Bikes for Kids Utah today announced its annual fundraising dinner auction, held on Tuesday, September 1 at La Caille, raised $17,000, $7,000 more than last year, in support of its cause to provide new bikes to underprivileged second graders.
"The dinner auction support has grown incredibly since Bikes for Kids' first event four years ago," said Debbie Reid, founder and president of Bikes for Kids Utah. "We are thrilled this year's dinner auction sold out, that we were able to add tables to accommodate most everyone who wanted to attend and that the silent auction showcase so many wonderful items."
The event this year included 220 supporters who generously bid on the more than 100 silent auction items. Among the auction items were a Samsung 40-inch LCD TV, several "Trips for Fundraising" for two to the West Indies, Puerto Rio or Barbados and two Utah Football VIP boxed seats with dinner.
Karma Ward, a third-grade teacher at Plymouth Elementary School who has attended every Bikes for Kids Utah dinner auction, has witnessed firsthand the impact Bikes for Kids has on individual children. She said, "This week one of my students wrote in his journal how much he loves his bike that he got from Bikes for Kids and that he rides it every day."
In keeping with the spirit of the Bikes for Kids BYU vs. Utah time trial that happened last Saturday, Jason Kaufusi, University of Utah football alumnus, and Reno Mahe, Brigham Young University football alumnus, spoke to the Bikes for Kids Utah dinner auction attendees about the impact of their individual contributions, playfully teasing each other about their relationship as rivals and friends. For every dinner ticket purchased, one child in Utah receives a new bike, lock, helmet and t-shirt.
"I worked in foster care because I wanted to give back to the community one kid at a time, one group at a time," Kaufusi said. "Five, ten, fifteen years from now that one special person you gave a bike to will be able to meaningfully help the people around them."
Mahe spoke graciously about the help family and friends gave him to support his dream of becoming a football player. He referred to the thank-you cards from the children who received bikes from Bikes for Kids on the dinner tables, saying, "Your help does make a difference. See those thank-you cards on the table? You are making a difference."
Bikes for Kids Utah
Bikes for Kids Utah, a non-profit 501(C)3 organization, has provided 1,000 new bicycles annually to underprivileged Utah children since its inception in 2006. Proceeds from annual bicycle fundraising events, auctions and corporate donations allow Bikes for Kids to give pre-selected children in the Salt Lake Valley recreation, learning and confidence-building opportunities by giving them free bikes, helmets and locks. www.bikesforkidsutah.com.
# # #
Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801.523.3730(wk) / 801.597.7515(cell),
Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801.523.3730(wk)/817.929.8123(cell),
Debbie Reid, Bikes for Kids Utah, 801.232.2681, firstname.lastname@example.org