MADISON, WI (BRAIN)—Saris Cycling Group recently held its fifth annual fundraiser to benefit the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. A record $100,000 was raised for the Bike Fed this year, supporting bicycle advocacy in Wisconsin.
The event featured both silent and live auctions, a raffle drawing and appearances by Tour de France rider Christian VandeVelde and former U.S. Postal Service rider and Versus Television Commentator Robbie Ventura. The event drew more than 400 guests from across Wisconsin, including a motor coach full of bicycling enthusiasts from Milwaukee. Madison’s WMMM radio voice Pat Gallagher acted as the emcee for the evening, and Gayle Stallings of Austin, Texas-based FUNAuctions was the auctioneer.
Saris has hosted this annual event every year since its inception, opening its factory doors to any guest that wishes to support bicycling in Wisconsin. This event has raised $250,000 for the Bike Fed over the past five years.
“I feel that it is extremely important for all members of the cycling community to come together for causes such as these," said Saris president Chris Fortune. "I'm proud that this event has grown over the past five years. We at Saris have set a precedent for industry members to become involved with their state and local Bicycle Federations to promote bicycle advocacy and education. We are the first in the nation to raise $100,000 in one fundraising event for a cycling advocacy group. We could not have done it without the generosity of our contributors, employees and volunteers.”
The Bike Fed of Wisconsin executive director Jack Hirt said, "The majority of the money raised will support the resources needed to implement educational programming across all users and to work on local and statewide advocacy efforts. We need to continue to build a grass roots lobbying base that is representative of the entire state and build bicycle friendly communities along the way. The success of the event reaffirms the confidence that the bicycle industry, as well as our members and guests have in our organization."