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88 Bikes Awarded Eddie Bauer Sponsorship Grant to Support ‘Villages’ Project

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PRESS RELEASE: 88bikes Foundation, a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries, has been selected for sponsorship by expedition gear manufacturer Eddie Bauer/First Ascent through their “Be First” program, which supports groups that “endeavor to accomplish what has never been done, or that otherwise challenge the limits of what is possible, and embody the drive to be first and an untamable spirit of adventure.”

The grant will provide general support to VILLAGES, 88bikes’ fifth and biggest project to date. Taking place June through November 2010, 88bikes is reaching out to children in Africa, Mongolia, Latin America and the United States and on Native American reservations, focusing on small rural locations where their bikes can have a major impact.

“Eddie Bauer’s support is crucial in helping us fulfill our ambitious VILLAGES project during the next several months, and to expand and maintain our programs throughout the world. It’s wonderful to welcome a partner who believes as fervently as we do in the power of getting out there and experiencing life,” said Dan Austin, founder of 88bikes.

Continued Austin, “We were especially touched to hear that the company felt that this was something Eddie Bauer himself would have embraced.”

The goal of the VILLAGES project is to distribute 1,000 new bikes to local children. To date, 697 bikes have been sponsored through donations of $88 per bike. 88bikes also plan to set up four to five bike shop “hubs” serving these rural communities and establish bike shop apprenticeships and workshops for each location.

The project’s next “Moment of Happy”- the event where the children receive their bikes- is taking place in Mongolia in late August. They will be distributing 200-400 bikes to children in rural communities near Arvaikheer.

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