New York man rode his bike 900 miles to raise money for a Georgia boy with special needs.
Dave Nazaroff had never met 2-year-old Tripp Halstead when he decided to embark on a 900-mile bike ride to raise money for the young boy. He had simply been one of the more than 800,000 Facebook users who had followed the Halstead family's updates about how Tripp was recovering from the traumatic brain injury he received last year. Rather than just sitting back, however, Nazaroff decided that he wanted to do something to help a family in need, so the nine-time Ironman competitor got on his bike and began to ride for the cause. By the time he completed the journey from New York to Georgia, Nazaroff had raised almost $200,000 and he celebrated by finally meeting the Halsteads in their hometown.
Tripp Halstead was having fun playing outside the Atlanta-area daycare he attended last October when he was struck on the head by a falling tree branch. The toddler miraculously survived the incident, but he was left with brain damage and has special needs. After the worst of the trauma was over, Tripp's mother, Stacy Halstead, was worried about what she would do with her son once she had to go back to work. Luckily, it was at this juncture when Nazaroff learned about the young boy's story from his wife, Kaete.
After hearing about the Halstead family, the Nazaroffs decided to start a non-profit organization to raise money for Tripp and his parents. Dave had been a longtime professional triathlete, who has competed in nine different Ironman races, so he realized that he could use his natural talents as a way to help raise money. The Nazaroffs planned the first annual Ride to Give, in which he would ride his bike on a 900-mile journey from his home in Nyack, NY all the way to Jefferson, GA.
Asking people to donate whatever they could to help, the Nazaroffs raised over $80,000 in the first eight weeks after announcing their plans. The ride began on June 26th and lasted until June 30th, when Dave finally crossed the Georgia state line. Wearing a jersey that read "Team Boom" in honor of Tripp's love of fist bumps the cyclist averaged almost 200 miles per day to complete the journey. For the last mile of the ride, Nazaroff met up with the Halsteads for the first time, and he hitched a trailer carrying young Tripp to the back of his bike as he rode to the finish line of his course.
Ride to Give continued to raise money as Nazaroff completed the trek, and by the time he reached Georgia, they had raised over $180,000 for the Halsteads. According to Tripp's mom Stacy, that amount of money will allow her to be able to stay at home with her son for at least three years to give him to attention he will require. The Nazaroffs also raised another $17,000 for Sunshine on a Ranney Day a charity that helps pay for home renovations for families with special needs children.
Following the success of the first Ride to Give, the Nazaroffs have continued raising money for other families in need, with Dave completing races all over the world. They intend to continue the tradition of the 900-mile bike ride annually, with the money going to support a new child each year.
To learn more about how you can contribute to Ride to Give, you can visit their website:http://www.ridetogive.com
You can watch an interview with Stacy Halstead, in which she thanks the Nazaroffs for everything they have done, here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQtM6vCkjvY