Jeannine Hatt has been riding and raising funds for Race for Grace for the last ten years since it started—in fact, she’s part of the reason it exists!
“I have found it as a way to give others the opportunity to support a compelling cause while improving their own health by pushing themselves physically,” she said. “I consider it an awesome opportunity as a mission outreach for any individual, church, or other group.”
Race for Grace, as part of the Hotter’n Hell bike race in Wichita Falls, TX, raises funds for International Child Care, and the funds go to help children and their families in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Preparing for the Bike Race
“I get out there and sweat as often as I can once the weather starts to warm up in the spring,” Jeannine says. The ride truly is hot, and it’s great to get some practice in. She said she also uses this time leading up to the race to bike and connect with nature. It allows her to relax, and she considers it a form of medication.
“It has made both Chuck and I improve our fitness level and made us healthier. I raise support to help improve the health of children while improving my own health.”
Fundraising for the Ride
Over the years, Jeannine has always been thinking of new and creative ways that individuals and groups can raise funds for Race for Grace. Here are some of the ideas she’s working with this year:
- Bike Raffle: Jeannine and her husband Chuck are selling raffle tickets for new bicycles (that they got at cost from Texoma Cycling) at two of the largest gyms in the area and at two churches. These are also main hubs for brochures and information about how to participate in Race for Grace.
- Kids Race for Grace: On the Sunday before the Race for Grace, the children at her church are having their own ride! They have each been challenged to raise $10, and they will prepare food for the congregation, charging a cash donation for lunch. Then the kids will get to ride in a race around the church wearing their Race for Grace T-shirts.
- Wearing T-shirts to Show Support: The staff at TexomaCare Pediatrics, where Jeannine works, and at TexomaCare Family Medicine are wearing Race for Grace shirts on the Fridays in August to show their support. Jeannine took a donation with the sale of the t-shirts, and the staff is sharing information about Race for Grace and ICC at the offices.
Advice for New Participants
“DON’T BE AFRAID,” is her biggest advice for new riders or participants. “There is a lot of support on the ride. You don’t have to be a super athlete at all, and it’s not about how fast or far you ride that matters, but how much support you raise for the kids!”