“Accept life’s challenges, keep going, and enjoy the ride.” – Cyclist Chris Ray
Portland, Oregon, July 26, 2021 – On July 5, the Nationwide Ride kicked off in New York City. Cyclists John Bladholm and Chris Ray are riding across the country an ambitious event to raise support and awareness for a selection of non-profits – they’ll ride 3,500 miles in seven weeks in support of eight foundations.
So what’s the TPG connection? Well, there unexpectedly turned out to be not one, but two meaningful connections.
The Ray Connection
TPG account executive Karen Ray is married to cyclist Chris Ray. Karen said it was over a year ago that Chris broached the idea of a cross-country bike ride with his friend John in support of charity. “At the time,” Karen admits, “I bit my tongue, because I didn’t think it would happen. And here we are – it’s been an awesome experience for them so far.” Karen and one of the couple’s four children attended the media send-off in New York on July 5 (in fact, you might spot her in the background in the Good Morning America clip linked below). “Chris loves to help others and so does John. They wanted to make a difference. Because of the year we all went through with COVID, they decided there was no time like the present to show the goodness in people across the nation.”
And they have found that goodness, in many wonderful ways. “Along with all the beautiful scenery they have seen, they are incredibly touched by all the people they have met.” So far, Chris and John have been escorted by small-town fire departments, had meals prepared or purchased for them by first responders, enjoyed lunch with kids from the Boys & Girls Club – and they’re not even halfway done with their journey yet. Chris also had the full support of his employer, a California-based wine company, to take the time away, while John’s company Green Barn Events is organizing the ride itself.
The Sam Day Foundation
In a serendipitous turn of events, one of the foundations that was chosen as a beneficiary of the ride is the Sam Day Foundation (SDF), which has an office in our own TPG Portland building. SDF’s mission is to advance research and ignite hope for kids with cancer, with an emphasis on sarcomas and brain tumors. TPG has been a longtime supporter of SDF, yet even Karen was unaware of how closely Chris and John’s beneficiary was linked to TPG. “Chris and John speak so highly of (SDF’s founder) Lorna Day, so to know she is in the same office space is just wonderful.”
SDF board member (and TPG’s EVP of Sales & Marketing) Sarah Friend said, “When the Nationwide Ride began, it was like worlds colliding when we heard the Karen Ray connection as well as the SDF connection.”
On behalf of The Partners Group and our Give30 mission, the TPG Foundation will be donating $5,000 in support of John and Chris, as well as the Sam Day Foundation. Our ten-year Give30 goal is to give $30 million back to our communities by 2030. To help us achieve that goal, TPG formed the TPG Foundation in 2020, a 501c3 focused on raising money to support our communities.
Learn More and Follow Along
The Nationwide Ride’s leg in support of the Sam Day Foundation travels through South Dakota and Wyoming, August 2–8. Learn how you can support SDF through a donation, volunteering, or by purchasing a Nationwide Ride jersey specific to this leg of the event.
To follow John and Chris on their ride and learn more about each of the chosen beneficiaries go to www.nationwideride.com
Click here to watch the kick-off event on Good Morning America.