OAKLAND PARK, FL (September 16th, 2023)
Today TSR Adventures, Inc., aka The SMART Ride, presented by CAN Community Health, announced that the 20th Anniversary Ride taking place November 17-18, 2023 will be its last.
Founder Glen Weinzimer, whose own personal story of survival is at the heart of The SMART Ride’s origin story, shared that the Board of Directors decided to end the ride in conjunction with him stepping down after the Ride.
Weinzimer said, “When we started twenty years ago, most agencies were unknown to the communities they served and needed help to connect. Through the SMART Ride that changed dramatically, and they now stand as integral parts of the community with strong marketing and fundraising.”
When The SMART Ride started in 2003, it was a different world, and The SMART Ride set out to change the environment. Back then, none of the agencies had a fundraising arm. But in the twenty years since, fundraising organizations like Our Fund, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), and CAN Community Health have been able to step in and provide much-needed funding.
Weinzimer said that one of the most important successes of The SMART Ride is that “We created an environment that fosters cooperation between the agencies and they are determined to remain a family that cooperates and collaborates.”
The SMART Ride funds have helped parents and children stay together, helped an individual regain their sight, taught people to make smart food choices to stay healthy, supported those incarcerated with HIV return to society, and saved the lives of youth discarded by their family because of who they are. Because of the Ride… our Riders, Crew, Supporters, and Donors did that.
Executive Director Todd Delmay said, “After 20 years, there is so much that The SMART Ride has achieved. The Ride has built a real community of riders, crew, and supporters that think about each other as family. I’ve been around the Ride for many years, and only this year as ED, but I’m reassured that the agencies and teams, who will now be able to develop their programs based on the lessons learned through participation in The SMART Ride, will continue to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Although the Ride itself is ending, the need for community funding always remains, especially in our minority and trans communities more than any other. The agencies that have benefited from the Ride still need help. We are also aware that each of our agencies has a community that supports them thanks to their affiliation with SMART Ride and our participants that have made The SMART Ride the 2nd largest HIV/AIDS organization in the country and the only one of its size to give back 100% of their money.
Delmay pointed out that the 20th Anniversary Theme #NoMoreNames, which has decades-long meaning in the fight for those living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS, remains the mission for every agency and every person ever impacted directly or indirectly by The SMART Ride. He went on to say, “All year we have been encouraging people to share their #MySMARTRideStory, and although there won’t be another SMART Ride next year, good stories like The SMART Ride never really end. It will be retold by all of those it touched and will surely inspire the next generation to pick up the mantle and continue the fight.”
Founder Glen Weinzimer is hopeful about the future, and said that “After 20 years, it is the right time to end on a high note. For me, being a part of The SMART Ride has changed my life as much as anyone’s. I’m so grateful for the community’s support of what the Ride has done, and that when the last donations are counted, we will have returned back to the community close to $17 Million Dollars.” Few people can claim a legacy like that, which makes Weinzimer and The SMART Ride unique among its peers.
Fundraising for the 20th Anniversary Ride continues after the Ride until December 31st, 2023, and that as is tradition, the funds will be distributed for the last time at the annual Check Party in January 2024. After that, money will continue to be raised by the agencies to fulfill their missions. We know that our efforts over the last 20 years will not go away; they will be remembered forever for the difference it made.
The Board and Staff of The SMART Ride encourage the community to help them end their 20-year journey by raising more money than ever. You can volunteer for the organizations that do amazing work in our communities and help educate those at risk through your life experience. You can tell your stories and continue to do some of the amazing fundraisers that you do. And you can create events, donate, and bring friends together to show the world what can be done and what we have done.
Between now and January, The SMART Ride believes it can raise $2 Million and set the agencies up for future success. And over $150,000 remains to be given out from our 10% lifeline through grants to other organizations and agencies.
Questions may be directed to Glen Weinzimer or Todd Delmay.
The SMART Ride is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded by Glen Weinzimer in 2003 that produces a two-day, 165-mile bicycle ride from Miami to Key West. The Southern Most HIV/AIDS Ride (aka SMART Ride) started in 2003 with a vision of giving back 100% of every dollar its participants raise to AIDS service organizations throughout Florida. We also promised that participants would have a degree of control over the distribution of the funds they raised to the benefiting agencies. Since 2003, over $14.95 Million has been raised – and 100% of it returned to help those infected, affected, or at risk for HIV and AIDS in Florida.