ATI Foundation and Preston's March Celebrate a "Pay It Forward" Partnership
On Tuesday, July 9, the ATI Foundation celebrated a year-long partnership with Preston’s March for Energy, a Delaware-based nonprofit that provides adaptive bikes to children with special needs.
In 2012, Terry Williams, Director of the ATI Foundation, first met with Deb Buenaga, executive director of Preston’s March for Energy, and quickly recognized the value of the work the organization did.
“When I first met with Deb, I saw how closely our mission to help children with physical impairments aligned with their mission,” said Williams. “A natural partnership began to form between our Foundation and Preston’s March. She has a lot of passion, and we were excited to be part of it.”
Buenaga’s passion for providing adaptive bikes to children with disabilities first developed after seeing her son Preston, who has Mitochondrial Disease, receive his own adaptive bike as part of a fundraiser arranged by a family friend. Because adaptive bikes can run upwards of $2,000 each, Buenaga began Preston’s March in the summer of 2011 to “pay it forward” and help other children receive adaptive bikes at no cost.
Since that time, the ATI Foundation has partnered with Preston’s March to donate 19 adaptive bikes to children across the country. These hand-pedaled adaptive bikes give children with disabilities an opportunity to exercise and increase their overall strength and coordination.
During Tuesday’s event, the two organizations celebrated their partnership, and both continued their tradition of “paying it forward.” After finding out that Preston outgrew his bike and that Preston’s March was unable to buy him a new one because of their nonprofit status, the Foundation came through to buy a new bike for Preston. In addition, Preston’s March presented a new adaptive bike to United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware.
Both organizations plan to continue their partnership in 2013 and are currently working together to help a beneficiaries in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio and Wisconsin.