Sunday, February 17, 2013

RODS Racing - Fueled By Idaho Potatoes

It's been 30 days since my last visit to my trusty blog.  It might be easy to think that triathletes take it easy in the winter (which is kinda true) but rest assure, the plight of the orphan has never been more at the forefront of my mind.  So without further adieu, I bring to you updates!

RODS Racing

Shortly after finding Reece's Rainbow, the idea was born of creating a racing team designed to race for Orphans with Down Syndrome.  We originally started with my group some racers here in Boise.  Many of these team members were people that I knew personally and that liked triathlons.  We didn't have any jersey's, sponsors, but we did have some cool T-Shirts!  We raised some money and had a good time racing.

Since the early days, things have changed considerably.  From the Ironman broadcast, our story was shared with the entire triathlon world!  From this positive exposure we now have over 40 athletes from all over the nation a few from over seas that have joined RODS Racing.  Each of these athletes reached out to me with one question...HOW CAN I HELP!!! Each of these athletes are passionate about racing and passionate about Down syndrome.  They all bring a unique set of talents and abilities to RODS which we are grateful for.  Since taking the team to the next level, donations have regularly been coming in for our RODS Orphans.  In fact, Ivan reached the magic $20,000 mark and we've already raised over $10,000 for Elvis and we're only 45 days into 2013! 

You can take a moment to read through the bios and see the pictures of our dedicated team HERE.


Through the introduction of RODS Team Member Trace Dandrea, I was introduced to Frank Muir, President of the Idaho Potato Commission.  We approached the IPC about becoming an official sponsor of Team RODS Racing for the 2013 race season.  Our racers would be racing in over 225 races throughout the nation and our proposal is that in doing so, we would be able to promote the positive uses of the Idaho Potato for endurance athletes.  In return, we asked that they would donate $50,000 as a matching grant for moneys that our athletes raise.  After a few meetings and a presentation at the one of their board meetings, the donation was approved! 

What a perfect partnership!  Idaho Potatoes are an incredible source of energy and nutrition for endurance athletes.  This matching grant will mean life for many RODS Orphans!


Another exciting piece of news is all of the documentation, articles of incorporation and paperwork have been successfully completed and mailed to the IRS for approval.  This is the FINAL step for RODS Racing to officially receive charitable status and be recognized as a non profit organization!  This will be huge because it will allow us to provide tax deductibility for all donations received from donors and it will allow us to apply for grants as well.  There was a lot that went into this but it will all be worth it! 


Trying to juggle all of the administrative side, apparel, fundraising, and get my training in was proving to be a difficult task.  That's when I decided I needed someone who was sharp as a tack, organized and passionate about adoption to help me.  I found just that person!  Annie Parker has joined the RODS Racing staff and has made a huge difference in making things run smoothly.  Annie married one of my childhood best friends.  Mike and Annie adopted their son Yonas from Ethiopia a few years ago and are very close to finalizing their second adoption this year!  I'm very lucky to have someone like Annie help me with the day to day operations of RODS Racing.

2012 was a very special year.  Friends were made, orphans were adopted and lives were changed.  For as special a year that 2013 was, you can appreciate my excitement when I say that 2013 is shaping up to be even better!  Thanks for all your support and for your patience with my lack of blogging skills lately.  Have a great day!