After years of planning, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County (BGCMC) are finally able to launch their Bike for Club Kids fundraising event. Throughout the month of June, Mercer County residents, families, companies and organizations can make a difference in children’s lives one bike ride at a time.

“We began preparation for the first year of the event in 2019 with intentions of hosting it in 2020 but were unable to proceed with launching the event in 2020,” said Sarah Julian, Director of Events & Corporate Engagement for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County. “After we found huge success with a 100 percent virtual model in our Run for Club Kids last fall, and saw that cycling was on the rise everywhere due to the pandemic, and our Bike Exchange sales exploded, we knew we wanted to launch in 2021 even, if we could not host our friends in-person.”

Similar to their annual Run for Club Kids event that operated on a fully remote platform in 2020, the Bike for Club Kids fundraiser allows community members to stay active while collecting donations for a variety of healthy living youth programs at BGCMC. Some of the programs include BGCMC’s Mental Health Task Force, the Social Emotional Learning Program (SEL), Triple Play – a national initiative designed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure that all Club members nurture their minds and bodies and get multiple hours a week of physical activity, the Garden and Outdoor Education Center – which allows for Club kids to get outside, be active and to learn about herbs and vegetables, and the Healthy Cooking class – which teaches kids about healthier preparation of foods and to make wise decisions when it comes to eating.

According to Julian, COVID-19 has raised the need for these social and emotional healthy living programs. “The pandemic has made the focus of this event more important than ever,” she said. “Emotional health has become more important than ever. We have worked hard to implement social-emotional learning across all our programming and to provide mental health resources to students.”

As of the beginning of June 2021, Club Kids has raised $28,000 with nearly 60 registrants and 12 teams participating.

To register, bikers should first visit the event site. There, you can select whether to bike as an individual, join a team, or start your own team. Once registered, the BGCMC asks that you create a fundraising page (customizable templates are provided). On this page, teams and riders have the ability to collect donations as well as the chance to ask others to join your team.

After set up, participants select a date on which they will ride and a distance they would like to complete. Bikers can then share that date and distance with their network and ask for others to support them and the Club. The Club also offers fundraising incentives to encourage participation, including special BGCMC branded gifts for those who raise more than $200.

“In 2021 the goal of this event is the same as much of the outreach we do, to expand BGC Mercer’s presence in Mercer County, recruit new supporters and to provide a fun way for our friends to get out and support us safely,” said Julien. “Of course, the goal is always to bring in money to support Club programming for our kids.”

It is not too late to register. Register for the first Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County Bike for Club Kids fundraiser by clicking HERE.