Great American Bike Race goes online to help local children

Jon Berg
Sanford Health Media Relations
(701) 516-4903

BISMARCK, N.D., April 20, 2020 — For 23 years, the Great American Bike Race (GABR) in Bismarck has brought people together to show kids and young adults who live with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset conditions that permanently affect development they are not alone.

That mission is more important today than ever before. With COVID-19 present in the Bismarck community, this year’s race, scheduled for April 25, looks a little different. Supporters are invited to participate in a virtual way.

20 for $20 challenge

  1. Join the challenge by signing up at
  2. Share a short video of you pedaling for 20 seconds and talking about why you support GABR on Facebook with the hashtags #forthekids and #gabr. The best video will win a prize!
  3. Challenge five of your friends to each donate $20 and share a link to your personal fundraising page.

On April 25, follow the virtual event on Facebook for inspiring videos from GABR teams, star families, local businesses and so much more! Prizes also will be awarded for the top fundraisers and the best video.

For more information, visit or find the Great American Bike Race – Virtual Event on Facebook.

24 years of helping local kids

The stationary bike race began in the Bismarck-Mandan community in North Dakota in 1997 and has since become a tradition across the Sanford Health footprint.

The 2019 event brought together 137 teams and more than 1,700 bikers and helped raise more than $390,000. Since its inception, GABR in Bismarck has raised nearly $4 million to support children and young adults in central and western North Dakota with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset conditions that affect development.

GABR in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which started in 2016, will host its fourth race in September. In three years, the event has raised nearly $100,000 for Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Sioux Falls.

Expanding to the Red River Valley, the Sanford Health Foundation hosted first GABR Fargo in November 2019. The event raised nearly $15,000 for Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Fargo.

The idea for GABR originated with Kevin Murphy, M.D., a pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, after traveling to Bismarck monthly to see pediatric therapy patients. He heard about a similar race in Canada known as the Great Canadian Bike Race and thought it would work in North Dakota.

That instinct was right. The first race had 10 bikes set up at Gateway Mall in Bismarck. Since then, the event has grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the United States, with more than 1,700 cyclists participating in the 2019 events.

About the Sanford Health Foundation

The Sanford Health Foundation supports the mission of Sanford Health, a nonprofit health care leader committed to improving the human condition. Gifts of all types and sizes support everything involved in the daily work of healing patients, including staff education, equipment, technology and programs and non-billed services like social work, nurse navigation, spiritual care and more. We also manage hundreds of endowed funds, created by individual and family donors of $10,000 or more and corporate donors of $25,000 or more. These special funds are designed to provide ongoing, perpetual support for the area of each donor’s choice. The Sanford Health Foundation is also home to Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo and Sioux Falls, as well as Brave Kids Bold Cures and Cure Kids Cancer.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition.

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