The Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation (The CTF), a 501 (c)(3) charitable nonprofit corporation sponsored by Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), will partner with Chicago-based JoRide Bicycles this Holiday Season to donate 60 pedal-less bicycles to young riders throughout the Chicago area. As part of The CTF’s mission to transform lives, enable communities and inspire ideas for the next generation to shape a more colorful tomorrow, the modified JoRide bicycles will be presented to organizations, schools and individual recipient families at a Holiday Brunch on December 11, 2011 from 10 am to Noon CT at the Keshet International Center in Northbrook, Ill.
"Konica Minolta and The CTF seek ways in which to give back to our local communities and JoRide Bicycles is a great organization that truly brings more colorful tomorrows to those families that they reach,” said Ned Umehara, President & Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. "JoRide Bicycles has brought a great American pastime to hundreds of riders and we are excited to be hosting this wonderful event to further grow that number just in time for the holiday season.”
JoRide Bicycles was created for individuals with special need, regardless of age or physical limitation, to create the ability, freedom, independence, comfort, and stability to learn how to ride a bicycle. Founded as a result of the owner's commitment to building a bicycle that would allow his autistic son to enjoy the pastime without difficulty, JoRide Bicycles has provided thousands of pedal-less bicycles to autistic and other special needs riders.
Covering the full cost of all the bicycles and the family-oriented event on December 11, Konica Minolta and The CTF will invite a number of local organizations and schools to receive bicycles including: Autism Speaks, Have Dreams, The Center for Enriched Living, and Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED). The remaining bicycles will be distributed to individual families who have been identified through these organizations and will also be in attendance.
“We expect a great turnout for this event hosted by Konica Minolta that will reach many riders throughout the Chicago area. All the receiving organizations and families will truly benefit from these bikes and we are thrilled that Konica Minolta has chosen to partner with us to make this a reality,” said Steven Cohen, Founder, JoRide Bicycles.
“The Autism Society of Illinois is excited to be working with JoRide Bicycles and Steve Cohen. Steve and Konica Minolta are generously donating bikes to children who don't know how to ride a bike or can't ride a bike due to their disability. Our families are so excited, because for the first time their child will be able to ride bike in the community. ASI cannot express enough thanks for this wonderful opportunity supporting our families,” said Mary Kay Betz, Executive Director, The Autism Society of Illinois.
“On behalf of the individuals at Glenkirk, I would like to thank Konica Minolta, The CTF, and JoRide Bicycles for providing these wonderful and innovative bicycles. They are a great design and they will give the individuals at Glenkirk the opportunity to “ride” on their own and for many individuals who would not be able to maneuver a typical bicycle, ride for the first time,” said Kori Larson, COO, Glenkirk.
The CTF is the nucleus of Konica Minolta's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts in the United States and supports critical efforts in those communities where Konica Minolta does business. Among the recent initiatives that the CTF has sponsored are: the USA Natural Disasters Relief Campaign; the Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Campaign; the Haiti Earthquake Relief Campaign; and a high school scholarship program with the inspirational students from KIPP: McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts in New Orleans, LA.