CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—Hundreds of e-mails and phone calls went to retailers and suppliers Monday urging them to come to Chicago Thursday night to attend a fundraising event for Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
F.K. Day and his wife, Leah, are hosting the event at their downtown Chicago home. Day, co-founder and executive vice president of SRAM, is also president of World Bicycle Relief.
Trek’s John Burke, Specialized’s Mike Sinyard, Cannondale Sports Group’s Jeff Frehner, Fuji’s Patrick Cunnane, Raleigh’s Steve Meineke, QBP’s Steve Flagg, Chris Fortune from Saris as well as Tim Blumenthal from Bikes Belong and IMBA’s Mike Van Abel are supporting the 7 p.m. reception.
Many in the industry are intrigued by Obama’s views on cycling and its relationship to issues like health, transportation, energy and environmental policy and the event is a chance for them to ask questions and listen to the candidate’s response, Day said.
Day, who supports Obama, said they had contacted Obama’s campaign staff six months ago offering to host a fundraiser. Day got a call last Wednesday saying the candidate would be in Chicago this week and could he pull off a reception on such short notice.
Day canceled a trip and a family reunion so the industry would have an opportunity to hear Obama speak about his vision for cycling and its potential role in U.S. policy.
“This is a chance to ask specific and probing questions. How would they (an Obama administration) implement those policies and how could the industry help. I think if we can raise these issues now, then it could be good for the world,” Day said.
For example, World Bicycle Relief raised $1.5 million to manufacture 24,000 locally to help people who survived the 2005 tsunami that swept over parts of Southeast Asia. Currently, the organization is supporting Project Zambia to provide 23,000 bikes to community home-based care volunteers and disease prevention educators.
Day said he hopes that 100 people will attend and as of Monday upwards of 40 had pledged to come to the $2,300 per person fundraiser. “We only started Friday and it’s taken awhile to spool up our effort to get the word out,” he said. For more information, e-mail Day at FKDay@SRAM.com.
Click on link to check out Obama on two wheels in Chicago on Sunday.