SAN DIEGO--()--The seventh annual Dodge Million Dollar Challenge will kick off Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, announced the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)®, the event’s organizer and beneficiary. More than 100 cyclists, including 12 physically challenged athletes, celebrities and professional athletes will embark on the seven-day, 620-mile ride down the scenic yet demanding California coastline, finishing at Kellogg Park in La Jolla, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 19.
“It is an odyssey of self-discovery, where the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie is accentuated by the experience of riding side-by-side with the very challenged athletes who benefit from the funds raised.”
CAF hopes to raise more than $1M through this sold-out event to help physically challenged athletes by funding grants for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses, mentoring and sports clinics.
CAF is proud to have the Dodge brand as a global partner and presenting sponsor of the Million Dollar Challenge. The Dodge brand will assist in the event roll-out by leading out the cyclists with five 2013 Dodge vehicles. In addition to their title sponsorship, the Dodge brand is underwriting two cyclists for the event, including Chrysler Group employee Marc Henretta, a paraplegic.
“The MDC journey is about so much more than the mental and physical challenge of the ride,” said Dean Roeper, Co-Chair of the Dodge Million Dollar Challenge. “It is an odyssey of self-discovery, where the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie is accentuated by the experience of riding side-by-side with the very challenged athletes who benefit from the funds raised.”
Participating in the challenge will be 12 challenged athletes including Army Sergeant Major Chris Self, a 44-year-old Purple Heart recipient who sustained gunshot wounds to both legs during combat operations while serving in Iraq, and Sean Simonson, a quadriplegic who suffered a spinal cord injury in a mountain bike accident.
Also riding are top pro cyclists from Team Garmin-Barracuda, and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who, after 36 surgeries himself, understands the importance of being able to ride his bike every day. Additional MDC event sponsors include SKLZ, J&L Pie Company, Life Technologies, Rancho Valencia, Wells Fargo, Skullcandy, SixteenFifty Creative Intelligence, Barracuda Networks, ZICO, SOS Entertainment, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Skin Medica, SPY, Refuel “Got Chocolate Milk?”, Garmin Sharp Pro Cycling Team and Pactimo.
To learn more about the Dodge Million Dollar Challenge, please visit www.cyclemdc.com. For more information about Challenged Athletes Foundation, go to www.challengedathletes.org. To follow the MDC on Twitter, go to @CAFoundation or #CycleForCAF.
About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $25 million has been raised and almost 4,800 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, log on to www.challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
For nearly 100 years, Dodge has defined passionate and innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and in style. Building upon its rich heritage of muscle cars, racing technology and ingenious engineering, Dodge offers a full line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs built for top performance – from power off the line and handling in the corners, to high-quality vehicles that deliver unmatched versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. Only Dodge offers such innovative functionality combined with class-leading performance, exceptional value and distinctive design. With the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, the all-new Dodge Charger paired with the ZF eight-speed transmission that achieves a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the new Durango and the significantly revamped Grand Caravan – inventor of the minivan – Journey, Avenger and iconic Challenger, Dodge now has one of the freshest dealer showrooms in the United States.