Boys & Girls Clubs of SWVA 2021 Community Impact Report
PARTNERSHIP and Program Highlights
Studies have shown the physical and cognitive benefits that two wheels can bring: increased cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones and muscles, better focus, and greater self-confidence. But lack of access, both to safe paths and to bikes themselves, often prevents kids from reaping those benefits. As CEO of BGCSWVA, Michelle Davis has seen the power of cycling first-hand. One Club member became such a skilled rider that he started going to competitions around the state. When he struggled with virtual schooling during the pandemic, his father made biking an incentive to get him to buckle down on his schoolwork. Now he’s getting As and Bs. In 2018, groups in our region such as Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists and the Roanoke Outside Foundation (ROF) hosted a successful crowdfunding campaign to build a begin ner loop trail in Morningside Park, next door to the Boys & Girls Club’s 9th Street location. The 1.25-mile trail filled a gap in Roanoke’s biking opportunities. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation is helping with a recent $25,000 GET OUTDOORS GRANT to ROF for Phase 2 of the Morningside project, which includes the design and construction of additional trails with more challenging elements, where new riders can grow their skills. In 2021, the Carlo and Micol Schejola Foundation awarded BGCSWVA a generous $25,000 GRANT to purchase new mountain bikes for Club member use, in addition to a bike-storage facility, as part of the Pedal Up Mountain Biking Program. Participants who develop higher skills can win scholarships to join Roanoke’s Star City Cycling Club, a youth cycling organization.
In December, Fisher Financial Services, Inc. andMountain View Real Estate partnered on a successful Bikes4Kids Campaign, raising $20,000 from generous community members to purchase 101 bikes for Club kids who did not have a bike of their own. Now, Club members can grow their love of cycling and develop this lifelong skill both at the Club and at home.
14 | 2021 IMPACT REPORT
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