Geerz Launches 8th Annual GIG Charity Ride
Geerz is proud to announce our 8th annual, two-day Get Into Geerz (GIG) Charity Bike Ride. The GIG ride is our flagship fundraiser and raises over half of our annual budget. Our 2024 ride, which takes place on March 10-12, 2024 takes place in the magnificent rolling hills of the upper Galilee in the footsteps of the prophets. Riders will experience the breathtaking vistas of the Holy Land like never before. Each year, the ride gets bigger and better and our plans for the 2024 ride promise a truly epic experience. There are eight spectacular route options to choose from that can accomodate every level of rider. Experienced riders who want to challenge themselves on technical single-track terrain definitely won't be disappointed. Less experienced riders who prefer to take it easy and ride a leisurely cross-country route and riders seeking anything in between these extremes will find the perfect route for them as well. We even offer the option of renting a high-quality electric mountain bike in case you are worried about getting up those hills. Every route is guided by a professional guide, who is not only a first-class biker, but also an instructor who is an expert in the terrain and the history of the area.
Participating in the ride is a unique opportunity to get to know the extraordinary Geerz community of riders. The ride has grown in leaps and bounds year after year largely because our riders are some of the finest and most fun-loving people you will ever meet. However, the riding, phenomenal though it is, is just one part of the fun. The ride is a two-and-a-half-day celebration of life, friendship, Zionism, adventure and kindness. Despite our rapid growth, the ride is characterized by a sense of warmth and intimacy which also affords outstanding business networking opportunities. Riders will enjoy two nights in the lovely Nir Etzion hotel. Every aspect of the ride is painstakingly planned in order to make the ride experience absolutely unforgettable, including legendary SWAG packages, magnificent routes and scenery, luxurious accommodations, endless food, logistics, amenities, happy hours, and more. Surprises await around every corner. The ride is superbly supported with mechanics, medics, and a large, terrific, and friendly support staff. Best of all, all proceeds from the ride will be used to provide Geerz's fast-expanding and innovative therapeutic mountain biking programs to kids who desperately need it but cannot afford it. The Geerz programs are genuinely transformative for hundreds of kids so you will be doing a world of good while having all this fun. Life simply does not get any better than that.
Riders are required to raise a minimum of $3,600. Riders from overseas who raise a minimum of $8,000, will be reimbursed for their airfare to Israel as well. Of course, Geerz offers a state-of-the-art fundraising platform and excellent fundraising materials to facilitate your efforts. We can get you set up with a bike if you don't feel like schlepping your own, personalize a training program and we will help solve every logistical problem that may arise. So hopefully you are fresh out of excuses and ready to join us for the cycling and bonding adventure of a lifetime. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geerz Goes Mobile
Several months ago, Geerz was able to realize a long-term dream by developing full mobile capabilities. As a therapeutic mountain biking program, our groups require easy access to biking trails. Moreover, in the case of our youth villages and special education programs, we also require a storage facility for the bikes since the kids do not have their own bikes and we provide and maintain these bikes. Thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors, Geerz now has the ability to bring the award-winning Geerz therapeutic mountain biking program to organizations that have no access to mountain biking trails which previously made it unfeasible to operate programs for their kids. These donors funded the construction of a custom-built trailer to store and transport enough bikes for an entire group and an all-terrain vehicle that can bring this trailer to trails that will allow those groups that cannot ride locally.
These new acquisitions have been put to immediate use. Last summer, Geerz ran a spectacularly successful program for Ukrainian orphans in Nes Harim. Unfortunately, the school was forced to relocate to a new location which is not suitable for mountain biking. The absence of their favorite program was devastating for the kids. Our new mobile capacity enables the resumption of this program. Similarly, Geerz created a number of desperately needed programs for a high school of at-risk Charedi girls (see related article). Because of the religious sensitivities of the local community, these girls could not possibly ride from their school through their neighborhood. Problem solved. Geerz now services these groups with an entirely mobile operation whereby we bring the bikes to the groups directly to the trails. Additional groups, which require mobile resources, are currently being formed for this academic year. The vehicle has even provided unforeseen benefits as it was used to rescue a girl who went missing deep in the trails around Beit Shemesh. The significance of this new dimension to our capabilities cannot be overstated. These donors seized an extraordinary opportunity to make a transformative difference in the lives of hundreds of kids for many years to come.
Geerz Partners with Dror to Change Lives
Geerz is proud to announce our partnership with Dror. Dror was founded by Sima Menora in memory of her daughters, Rikki and Racheli, who both tragically perished in a plane crash. Sima decided to perpetuate their memory by creating an initiative to empower girls from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with a variety of innovative educational, cultural, and athletic programs. As an avid cyclist and athlete, Sima has long believed in the power of sports to bridge social gaps and instill self-confidence and discipline. With this in mind, Sima turned to Geerz to create a specialized program in one of Dror's flagship projects.
Dror is deeply involved in a special high school for ultra-orthodox girls. The girls in this school, for a variety of reasons, were simply not succeeding in the conventional educational frameworks they grew up in. This lack of success and the resulting adoption of high-risk behavior made it critical to find a supportive alternative framework for these young women. Unfortunately, no such framework existed. A trailblazing young educator took up the gauntlet and decided to create one. Despite formidable challenges, the school has been a great success, and, true to its mission, Dror has played a pivotal role in augmenting the programs offered by the school which could not otherwise have been offered due to a lack of funding. Sima had heard much about the Geezr therapeutic mountain biking program and believed that it would be a real game-changer for the girls in this school.
The logistic challenges involved in launching the program were formidable. The girls did not own bikes, many did not even know how to ride and the location of the school made it impossible to access the trails that are necessary to run a mountain biking program. However, the shared vision of what this program would do for these girls inspired the partners to find solutions. They realized that the girls would have to be transported to the trails along with their bikes. Both organizations launched fundraising campaigns and Dror financed the building of a customized trailer which would allow for the transport and storage of the bikes. Geerz reached out to its donors who generously responded by financing the purchase of a truck that could access the trails and tow the new bike trailer. In addition, Geerz provided the girls with new mountain bikes and hired a charismatic instructor to teach the girls to ride.
The profound impact of Geerz on kids who struggle with a wide array of social, psychological, educational, and physical challenges has been clinically documented. Each program is customized to address the specific issues that are most relevant to every given group. Although this program just started, we are confident that it will serve as a model for additional programs in other alternative educational frameworks.
A Get Into Geerz (GIG) Rider's Testimonial
Donny Fein is a passionate advocate for Aliyah. Together with his partner, Rob Ernst (another long-time Geerz rider), he runs Elite Israel Realty, a real estate firm whose focus is to find the perfect home in Israel for new immigrants. His social media presence and podcast are full of useful tips and encouragement for potential Olim. In addition, Donny spearheads a unique and active grassroots charity initiative that provides immediate assistance to needy recipients via an active network of givers. Donny is also an accomplished mountain biker and has served on the Board of Directors of Geerz since its founding twelve years ago.
"I love the fact that Geerz actually changes kids' lives and doesn't simply talk about doing it," says Donny. As a mountain biker himself, Donny has long recognized the huge physiological and psychological benefits of off-road cycling in his own life. However, the innovative Geerz curriculum, he notes, has been an exponential multiplier of these benefits for the hundreds of kids in Geerz who suffer from a wide array of social and psychological issues. Seeing so many dramatic transformations and success stories first-hand has motivated Donny to stay involved for so long despite a frenetically busy schedule.
One of the ways Donny gets involved is his annual participation in the Geerz charity ride. In addition to the ride being the organization's flagship fundraiser, Donny, the marketing guru, appreciates the fact that it is an incredibly effective way to spread awareness about Geerz. Donny shares with his circle of friends and associates why he is committed to raising funds for Geerz and is always surprised by how generously they respond to support his campaign. "The great thing about the ride," shares Donny, "is the fact that I get to do something amazing on behalf of others while having an incredible time. The ride is a two-day adventure combining physical challenges, friendship, networking, Zionism, and, of course, Tikkun Olam. It's rare to be able to bond with people so seamlessly. It's a little like finding the fountain of youth. I love the win-win aspect of riding for Geerz. My fundraising directly impacts the lives of kids all over Israel. And I get to do all that while riding with 120 awesome guys. What more could anyone ask for?"