I might be showing my age by admitting this, but my first two-wheeler was a Schwinn Sting-Ray. Banana seat, squared-off “drag slick” rear tire, and high-rise handle bars, that bike represented freedom, and was my first introduction to a lifetime of loving anything on wheels. Even today, a bicycle is a kid’s first taste of speed, independence, and yes, learning the limits of the machine and your own skill. It’s also usually a kid’s first introduction to vehicle repair and modification (and how mad your parents get when you manage to grind chain grease into your pant legs while working on it).
Now, OPTIMA and Golden State Foods Foundation are teaming up to provide underprivileged youths a chance to build and customize their own bicycle with the help of automotive experts and enthusiasts. As part of the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge at four select events, kids will assemble bikes, assisted by industry volunteers. To raise funds to support the project, OPTIMA and the GSF Foundation are soliciting both direct contributions and donations for an eBay auction, which will run from July 5 through the 15th.
For more information on how to donate or get involved contact OPTIMA.
Original Press Release Follows:
OPTIMA® Batteries and Golden State Foods Foundation Announce Charitable Build-A-Bike Partnership
Automotive Industry Rallies to Build Bikes for Hundreds of Children at Select OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Events
May 15, 2012 (MILWAUKEE) – OPTIMA® Batteries and the Golden State Foods Foundation officially announced a partnership today to support children through an all-new charitable Build-A-Bike program. This charitable element integrated into the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car franchise will work to leave a lasting, positive impact on the communities where key performance automotive and industry events take place. The Golden State Foods Foundation, a non-profit organization established to help children in need, was the ideal partner for the Build-A-Bike charitable program.
Together the two organizations aim to instill the same passion for customization among children across America by providing them with an opportunity to build and customize their own bicycle next to industry insiders and enthusiasts, while giving them a memorable and positive experience.
“As a kid, the first vehicle I can remember taking pride in and customizing was my bike,” said Cam Douglas, director of product development and marketing for OPTIMA Batteries. “I think a lot of folks in the automotive enthusiast community feel the same way. And they can remember what it was like to add new chrome cranks or pegs, put on decals or install a new seat. It’s where we first started to discover our passion for the industry.”
A series of four total OPTIMA Build-A-Bike events will occur at OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car events where children will assemble bicycles with the help of industry volunteers. These events include:
OPTIMA Faceoff at HOT ROD Power Tour Friday, June 8, 2012. Location: QuikTrip Park (1600 Lonestar Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75050)
OPTIMA Faceoff at Road America Friday, June 22, 2012. Location: Andrew¹s Chevrolet (1500 W. Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53209)
Holley LSFest Friday, September 7, 2012. Location: Beech Bend Raceway Park (798 Beech Bend Road, Bowling Green, KY 42101)
2012 SEMA Show Friday, November 2, 2012 Location: Las Vegas, NV (TBD)
In order to raise funds for the bicycles and helmets OPTIMA Batteries and the Golden State Foods Foundation have arranged an online auction on eBay. The auction, which runs from July 5, 2012, at 7 p.m. PDT through July 15 at 7 p.m. PDT, is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents. Items in the auction range from high-end automotive parts packages to exclusive VIP experiences to custom made bicycles. Auction Cause, an online cause marketing agency, will manage the auction. For a full list of auction items and additional information about the OPTIMA Build-A-Bike program visit //www.optimabuildabike.com.
“We are proud to be partners with OPTIMA Batteries,” said Mark Wetterau, chairman and CEO of Golden States Food. “Through our partnership young people in four communities across America will have an opportunity to build a bike and at the end of the day, ride off with a new sense of purpose and belief in themselves.”
Several industry celebrities and organizations have stepped up in support of OPTIMA’s Build-A-Bike charity initiative. Troy Ladd, of Hollywood HOT RODS, built a bicycle and custom painted guitar in the traditional Hollywood HOT ROD style. Pete Chapouris and Jimmy Shine, the legends behind So-Cal Speed Shop, also built a custom designed bicycle for the Build-A-Bike auction. The attention to detail and overall look from both shops mirrors the fine work that goes into their vehicles.
Other companies and industry figures that have contributed to the auction include: Monster Jam®, Wilwood Disc Brakes, K&N Filters, MagnaFlow, Former WCW and WWE Wrestler Bill Goldberg, MSD, Vintage Air, Chris Alston’s Chassiswork, the World Challenge SCCA Pro Racing series, Offshore Powerboat Association and drag racing legends Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme (on behalf of Beckett Media) among others.
“It’s been amazing to see the industry come together to make a difference in the lives of these kids,” said Douglass. “Based on this year’s success we’re hoping to expand the program to give out even more bicycles and reach more markets in the future.”
To find more information on OPTIMA’s Build-A-Bike program including volunteer opportunities and a full list of auction items, please visit //www.optimabuildabike.com/.
About OPTIMA® Batteries
OPTIMA® YellowTop®, RedTop® and BlueTop® batteries are available through leading battery distributors globally. When looking for OPTIMA Batteries consumers should look for the unique, colored-top and SIXPACK™ design which OPTIMA is known throughout the world. In 2012, OPTIMA added to its product line with the innovative OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 Battery Charger for all automotive and marine batteries. To find out more information or purchase OPTIMA products consumers may visit www.optimabatteries.com. Consumers can also call 1-888-8OPTIMA (1-888-867-8462) for additional information.OPTIMA Batteries are manufactured by Johnson Controls, Inc. Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI – News) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of more than 150,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit //www.johnsoncontrols.com.
About GSF Foundation and Golden State Foods
The Golden State Foods Foundation (GSF Foundation) is a non-profit organization established to help children and families in need. A natural extension of Golden State Foods’ value-based business, the Foundation is designed to improve the lives of individuals in the areas where GSF’s associates live and work through personal involvement and contributions. More than 80 percent of GSF associates participate in the Foundation, leading its 26 local committees throughout the U.S. A key differentiator for the Foundation is 100 percent of all donated monies go directly to its charitable partners or programs. For more information, please visit www.gsffoundation.org. Golden State Foods is a $5 billion diversified supplier to the quick service industry. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif. the 65-year-old company services more than 20,000 restaurants in more than 50 countries. Its core businesses include: processing and distribution of liquid products, meat, produce, bakery and other services. For more information, visit www.goldenstatefoods.com.