When looking for the perfect way to raise money for inner-city children in Los Angeles, the Harold Robinson Foundation took a cue from their friend and the founder of the 100 Mile Man Foundation, Jesse Itzler, a major supporter of the foundation.
“Jesse held a fundraiser in New York to raise money for his foundation for inner-city children, Pedal in the Park in Central Park,” said David Moss, president of the Harold Robinson Foundation. “And we wanted to do the same event here, but at the ‘Central Park of the West Coast,’ which we felt was the Santa Monica Pier. So that’s how we started Pedal on the Pier.”
This Sunday, the Harold Robinson Foundation will hold its 6th annual Pedal on the Pier, an energetic outdoor cycling event that will feature 100 teams pledging to raise a minimum of $2,500 each while pedaling on stationary bikes.
With the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop, Pedal on the Pier’s 5-hour/100-mile spin-a-thon features teams of five riding on SC3 indoor cycling bikes (70 percent provided by Stages Cycling and 30 percent coming from a local Santa Monica cycling studio, Cyclepathic, who are closing down the studio for the day to support the cause), live musical performances, DJs, celebrity guests, athletes, and food and drinks from local restaurants.
“What makes Pedal on the Pier so great and so unique is that it’s a super high energy, crazy fun, outdoor, physical, philanthropy, fundraising event at an iconic location looking out over the ocean,” said Joyce Hyser Robinson, co-founder of the Harold Robinson Foundation. “The event nets close to a million dollars, attracts around 1,500 participants and guests, and yet, has an intimacy and sense of community that is uncommon at most events of this size. We put our heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into every aspect of Pedal on the Pier, and I really think it shows.”
One hundred percent of the money raised through the event provides the funding and resources to send Los Angeles’ underserved children to Camp Ubuntu; a safe and nurturing environment created by the foundation, far away from the stress that most of them face on a daily basis.
“The cool thing about that camp is it is serving a demographic from a part of L.A. that has the four densest projects. Those four projects are home to four rival gangs. And we take children from each of those communities to a place where they can spend time in peace and harmony and it breaks down those barriers based on the camp experience,” Moss said.
In years past, Pedal on the Pier, has attracted a number of celebrity supporters including Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Darryl (DMC) McDaniels, MC Hammer, Evander Holyfield, Victor Ortiz, Josh Malina, Hilary & Haylie Duff, Rosanna Arquette, Baron Davis, Steven R. McQueen and Luc Robataille, who all helped raise funds for the organization. This year’s goal is to exceed $1 million and riders are encouraged to pledge their support and encourage the theme, “We Spin, Kids Win.”
“It is an incredible fundraising model none of us realized would be as successful as it’s been,” Moss said. “It has become easier and easier for us as the event gains recognition. Everyone wants to be in the top 10 teams who raised the most. Our website shows all the teams and how much they are at. It is a friendly fun competition.”
For more information, or to sign up and donate to the Harold Robinson Foundation, visit http://pedalonthepier.haroldrobinsonfoundation.org.
This story has been updated.