Great American Bike Race goes online to help local children

Stationary bike races turn into virtual events during coronavirus pandemic

Seth Emineth, 16, smiles in a photo for the Great American Bike Race.

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 gabr.sanfordhealth.org.
  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 gabr.sanfordhealth.org 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.

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Posted In Children's, Community, Coronavirus, Foundation, News, News Releases, Wellness

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