FOR RELEASE June 7, 2019
Contacts: Jill Saunders 314.498.7729, Molly Saunders 346.704.6800
Casey Saunders Foundation – “Getting More Kids on Bikes” Through Youth Cycling Scholarship Awards
The Casey Saunders Foundation has announced its 2019 youth recipients of the Be Like Casey Scholarship Awards. This is the first year for the $1,500.00 awards and three youth were presented with their awards at the Second Annual Steel Wheels Indoor Ride and Fundraising Party to benefit the Casey Saunders Foundation. The event was held at Steel Wheels on Saturday, June 1, to celebrate Casey’s legacy and to further the mission of the Foundation of getting more local kids on bikes.
Bob Koplar, founder and owner of Steel Wheels, and host of the event, shared his thoughts about the Scholarship and the Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to help the Casey Saunders Foundation in their efforts to bring bikes and the fun that goes with them to more kids. We congratulate this year’s award recipients and hope that this is the first of many more to come and that it encourages cycling
as a lifelong pursuit,” said Koplar.
Three area youth from the St. Louis Bi-state region were named at the June 1 event. The scholarships will further their cycling experiences by helping them with needed equipment and support. The recipients of the scholarships are: Caleb Secrease, from St. John; Marcus Stewart, from St. Louis; and Jack Bledsoe, from Webster Groves.
Caleb, age 10, is entering Ritenour Middle School in the fall. He appreciates the health benefits that go along with riding his bike. Caleb hopes to get a new bike and new helmet with his scholarship, which in turn will help him become more involved in the cycling community by finding a group to ride with and he would like to possibly even race. Caleb said he hopes that by telling other people about the Foundation, he can help spread the story of all the great things Casey Saunders did in his life and encourage other kids to do the same.
Marcus, age 15, attends Seckman High School in the Fox School District. He saved his money and bought a mountain bike on craigslist. After an injury prevented him from playing hockey, he started riding more and he spends his free time learning how to fix and build bikes. He looks forward to getting some new safety equipment with this scholarship and being able to give back to his community by getting more youth involved in cycling.”
Jack, age 17, will be a senior at Webster Groves High School in the fall. He currently rides for Maplewood Bicycle Team. He is actively involved in mountain biking, road riding, and cyclocross. He will be a great ambassador for the Casey Saunders Foundation by helping to get other youth involved in cycling.
Jill Saunders, Casey’s mother and the Founder of the Casey Saunders Foundation commented on the three awardees saying, “We are so excited to recognize these great kids for their passion and interest in cycling and we are thrilled to help them become more involved and reach their personal goals. Our greatest hope is to see them have fun and enjoy the benefits of cycling and to be able to share this with their friends, families, and communities”.
About Casey Saunders
Casey was known by many as a compassionate, generous and humble friend, but he raced with fire and tenacity rarely seen. He was a great advocate for the sport of cycling and not only did he live, love and breathe it himself, but he also encouraged others to experience the joy and benefits of cycling. As a longtime member of the Dogfish Racing team and through his work as a mechanic at Big Shark Bicycle Company, Casey had a passion for all types of cycling and showed up at many events to race himself and to encourage others to ride and participate as well. He believed that cycling was one of the best paths to life-long health and well-being and that every person – regardless of background, age, gender, or race, should be able to experience the joy and freedom that comes from riding a bike. Sadly, Casey passed away in 2017. The Casey Saunders Foundation was founded in January 2018 by the Saunders Family in his memory to honor his legacy.
About the Casey Saunders Foundation
The Casey Saunders Foundation purpose is to provide safe cycling opportunities for young people, with a focus on underserved youth in the St. Louis Bi-State region. The goal of the Foundation is to encourage youth to pursue cycling by providing bike equipment and support needed for safe and lifelong cycling experiences. Foundation funds are provided through donations and community support. The Casey Saunders Foundation Scholarship program was created to provide financial support to youth who demonstrate a commitment to cycling and the characteristics of humility, hard work, and helpfulness. For additional information visit the Casey Saunders Foundation website at www.belikecasey.org.
Also, find the Casey Saunders Foundation on Facebook or Instagram.