If you haven’t heard, the Volvo for Life Awards are happening for the 6th year pretty soon. What are they? I can’t say it any better than they do on the website:
"Protecting our kids. Helping our neighbors. Saving our earth. This is what heroes do, the real-life heroes we honor each year through the Volvo for life Awards. Since 2002, Volvo has given these heroes nearly $5 million in funding and awards to help them continue their extraordinary work on behalf of their communities."
There are 4 categories (Safety, Quality, Environment and Butterfly) and multiple nominees in each category. Each winner from the Safety, Quality and Environment category wins $100,000! The Butterfly winner gets $25,000 and the grand prize winner gets the money and a Volvo for life. The breakdown is here.
Online voting has been open since November, but it closes at noon on Monday, January 7th. Why am I telling you this? Because we know one of the very cool nominees, Ms. Marilyn Price, the founder of Trips for Kids. She has been nominated in the Quality category.
I’m hoping that they don’t mind, but I’m going to past Marilyn’s nomination bio here so you’ll see why we all think she’s so worthy of this award:
As a young bicycle enthusiast in the mid-1980s, Marilyn Price often pedaled up the redwood-forested slopes of Mount Tamalpais across the Golden Gate Bridge. On one afternoon excursion, she stopped to look out over Tamalpais' sweeping view. Taking in San Francisco, its deep, blue bay, and the Pacific Ocean beyond, the mountain's panorama inspired in her a sense of so many paths not yet taken. She remembered the disadvantaged children whom she served when volunteering at St. Anthony's Dining Room in the heart of the city. It was from the mountain's view of a larger world that Marilyn's vision of Trips For Kids (TFK) began to take shape.
A single mother with two children, Marilyn began TFK on a simple hope and ten donated mountain bikes. But she persevered in her belief that getting inner-city youth bicycling outdoors would connect them with nature, provide exercise, and steer them away from trouble. The program has ensured that more than thirteen thousand disadvantaged children from the San Francisco Bay Area have experienced the natural world from the seat of a mountain bike. The program also teaches bicycle and computer repair work at the TFK warehouse. Through their apprenticeships, participants earn credits toward purchasing their own mountain bikes and computers.
The original program still brings inner city youth from San Francisco to bucolic Marin County to mountain bike the county's expansive countryside. "Many of these kids have never been out of a concrete setting," Marilyn notes, "and never hiked on a mountain, and never seen a deer." The typical outing begins at TFK's San Raphael warehouse, where the staff outfits the young riders for the trip. Next, the staff teams each youngster with a mentor - an experienced mountain biker who will accompany them for the duration of the trek. Together, the group sets out for Marin's lush terrain. Here, inner city kids ride from hidden ocean beaches up through steep coastal slopes forested in towering redwoods. "I liked being in a natural setting," one teenager says, "and I never thought I could make it up the slopes. But I did."
Twenty-one years ago, Marilyn Price rode up the high slopes of Mount Tamalpais and saw a view that inspired her. Marilyn's inspiration has, in turn, inspired hundreds of volunteers to join her cause - fifty-seven TFK chapters have since formed across the United States. Through her program, over thirty-eight thousand inner city children nationwide have explored a world once closed off to them: a place in nature far away from the confines of the street.
To learn more about Marilyn Price and her cause, and how you can make a difference, please visit: www.tripsforkids.org.
There are many great nominees, but we think Marilyn is fantastic and has brought cycling to many more kids than you can count. Go on…no signing up, just a little check mark. It’s so easy!! Vote for Marilyn and Trips for Kids! I did.