Celebrating Founders and Thanking Major Donors at Erik’s
The next stop for the BikeMN Founders Series will be at Erik’s Bike Shop warehouse in Minneapolis on July 25th. We hope you’ll consider joining us in launching BikeMN’s new Strategic Initiatives Fund, Pedaling Forward, and making a donation to BikeMN of $500 or more to support it in 2023.
“The mission of BikeMN means a lot to me personally and I’m hosting this fundraiser to thank others for supporting BikeMN’s work at a high level and to thank those that have made significant contributions to the organization’s development,” said Erik Saltvold. “I hope this event will raise awareness of BikeMN’s accomplishments and engage more people in supporting their work. As an incentive, I’m offering to match the first $5,000 given by new donors of more than $500 to BikeMN.”
The event will be held on July 25th from 5-7 pm at Erik’s Company Headquarters, and feature live music, warehouse tours, and happy hour snacks and beverages. The music will be followed by a short program featuring our host Erik Saltvold, Dorian Grilley, BikeMN’s retiring Executive Director, and Jill Chamberlain, Senior Community Prevention Consultant at the BlueCross BlueShield Center for Prevention, who was the project manager for the development of the Walk! Bike! Fun! Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety curriculum more than a decade ago.
“The Center for Prevention immediately recognized the value of partnering with BikeMN in support of our overlapping education and advocacy missions related to active transportation,” said Jill Chamberlain, Senior Community Prevention Consultant with BCBS of MN. “That was the spark that led to the partnership to develop Walk! Bike! Fun! it is wonderful to see that, with the ongoing support from MnDOT and other BikeMN supporters, BikeMN staff has trained over 1,000 educators to teach WBF! But, there is still much more that needs to be done.”
Early on BikeMN also found a great partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that truly transformed BikeMN into a statewide organization. “When we were creating the active living strategies for the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) over a decade ago, BikeMN was the one organization in the state that had the vision and capacity to partner with MDH and MnDOT on increasing walking and biking opportunities in Minnesota,” said Chris Kimber, now retired from the Minnesota Department of Health. “It is without question that BikeMN has contributed to the health of people all across the state and made it a great place to live an active life for generations to come. That is why my partner and I personally will continue to be major donors to BikeMN.”
Unrestricted support from major donors and members has made it possible for BikeMN to build the relationships that made 2023 a historic year at the Minnesota Legislature for biking and walking. Dorian Grilley, BikeMN’s Executive Director, will also be at Erik’s to share some details about what happened at the Capitol and answer questions. Dorian will be stepping down as Executive Director of BikeMN at the end of June. “I prefer to call it shifting gears rather than retirement, says Grilley. I still plan to be involved with BikeMN’s advocacy work at the local, state, and national levels. But, I am certainly looking forward to celebrating what BikeMN has been able to accomplish in 15 years, thanking many who have helped make that possible, and welcoming new supporters.”
The Pedaling Forward Strategic Initiatives Fund will propel BikeMN’s education and advocacy work to a new level. From the beginning, BikeMN has worked to build relationships at the local, state, and national levels. Those relationships and partnerships have proven to drive the change needed to make biking and walking the safe and convenient choice in communities statewide. Specifically, this additional funding will help launch BikeMN’s Adult Learn to Ride program statewide, ensure that every elementary and middle school child has access to quality active transportation safety education, and that BikeMN and its many volunteers and partners can continue to offer adult safety education all throughout Minnesota. It will also be directed toward ensuring that more and more communities continue to recognize the benefits of bicycle and walk-friendly investments, helping to grow BikeMN’s network of active and well-informed advocates, and ensuring more of our elected leaders and city and state officials recognize that the return on investment in biking and walking is very high.
The July 25th event at Erik’s will be preceded by Indeed We Can on July 19th and followed later in the fall with an event at QBP in Bloomington on October 17th. All BikeMN supporters will be invited to QBP and Indeed. On July 19th, Indeed Brewing will donate the net proceeds from their Minneapolis tap room to BikeMN. QBP provided the seed funds to start BikeMN 15 years ago and has been a major donor at the highest level every year since. Please watch our e-news and our blog for more information about upcoming Founders Series events or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.