The Bobby Labonte Foundation, founded by NASCAR Champion and Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Labonte, continued its tradition of giving to children in need by building and donating 75 kids’ bikes on Friday at the Salvation Army Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club in Winston-Salem, N.C. The giveaway also included helmets and bike safety lessons provided by the Winston-Salem Police Department, Safe Kids Coalition and Brenner Children’s Hospital.
A bike build and giveaway has been an annual event, part of the Bobby Labonte Foundation charity bike ride, which benefits children and families in need in the Triad area. More than $40,000 in proceeds from this year’s Labonte Roubaix, presented by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health Sports Medicine and Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar, went to JDRF’s North Carolina Chapter to help families affected by type 1 diabetes.
“Building and giving away bikes to local kids is a highlight of my foundation’s annual charity bike ride,” said Labonte. “Seeing the childrens’ reactions, how excited they get when they find out they’re taking a new bike home, is so incredible. I really appreciate the partners and volunteers who allow us to do this year after year, particularly Colavita, which supplies us with these bikes.”
Labonte and his wife, Kristin, a former national champion cyclist, encouraged the kids in attendance to stay healthy by being active and to always wear helmets when riding their bikes. Hayluri Beckles, Pediatric Trauma Prevention Coordinator at Brenner Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Northwest Piedmont Coordinator, made a presentation that included several special guests: Sgt. Kevin Bowers of the Winston-Salem Police Department Downtown Bike Patrol, Michael Hosey of the National Cycling Center and Chair of Safe Kids Coalition and Dr Thomas Pranikoff, who’s an avid cyclist and the Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics and Surgeon-in-Chief at Brenner Children’s Hospital, and Co-Executive Director, Pediatric Service Line. The children learned about how to ride their bikes safely and the importance of wearing helmet. At the conclusion of the presentation, the children were fitted with helmets and brand-new bikes.
“This was a wonderful day with the children at the Boys and Girls Club. We were thrilled to teach them about riding a bike safely,” said Beckles, “It is our hope that they are excited about their new bikes and new helmets and they take what they have learned about bike safety home and apply it every day.”
For more information about the Bobby Labonte Foundation, the charity bike ride, or to become a future sponsor, visit bobbylabontefoundation.org