MCBC Education & Encouragement Cory’s Ride Wins Big With $67K Grant

For those that have already been following along on the Cory’s Ride journey, you’ve seen the incredible impact and great strides that this MCBC initiative has made over the last two years. These efforts have just been recognized, and will soon be amplified, by a generous grant from the Marin Community Foundation (MCF). On May 26, the trustees of the Buck Family Fund of MCF awarded a $67,000 grant for Cory’s Ride and its mission to advance local, equitable climate action.

Cory’s Ride: Looking Forward

Cory’s Ride is about a lot more than just bicycle safety education and giving bikes to kids. Most of our focus is in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael, where mobility access and impending sea level rise are major issues. The expansion of Cory’s Ride empowers more students to ride while overcoming and addressing the barriers that prevent them from doing so. Participants engage in team building, leadership training, and civic engagement while also learning how sustainable transportation meets the collective goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Cory's Ride Wins Big

Here are just some of the objectives we plan to accomplish with the MCF grant and the support of our donors over the next 18 months:

1) Hire a full-time, bilingual Program Manager. Matt Farber, MCBC’s Outreach Coordinator, has only been able to steer the Cory’s Ride ship on a part-time basis until now. Starting July 1st, Matt will be promoted to a director-level position where he can dive fully into the Cory’s Ride program and leverage his experience in organizing advocacy programs in low income and BIPOC communities.

2)  MCBC’s Policy and Advocacy Director, Warren Wells, will meet quarterly with Cory’s Ride participants and partner organizations such as Voces del Canal (Voices of the Canal) and the Canal Alliance to develop community priorities. Though it will be up to participants to choose priority projects they want to advocate for, we expect that bike security and secure bike parking may be an issue they wish to tackle. Who knows, maybe we’ll finally get a bike bridge built over the canal!

3) In coordination with Cory’s Ride participants and with guidance from our friends at the Canal Alliance, MCBC staff will organize an elected official and agency staff e-bike tour of the Canal to encourage a better understanding of local planning and infrastructure needs. Residents of the Canal have historically been underrepresented in policy setting and decision making, all the while being more vulnerable to local environmental hazards. We want to help empower the community to change that.

4) A paid high school student internship program will be added to increase outreach and communications with Canal residents, forming a liaison with San Rafael Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Council and Transportation Authority of Marin programs. MCBC has access to many student-focused organizations such as the National Youth Bike Council and the Youth Leadership Institute, both exemplary programs with a student centered focus. Cory’s Ride paid student interns will strive to build community, lead rides, and attend city and local community meetings. 

5) At the end of the grant period, 110 students will have been reached through the Cory’s Ride program, and six students will have participated in paid internships. Graduates of the program receive bikes, helmets, and other equipment, in addition to invaluable education. Interns will be trained in advocacy and attend local town and community meetings as they pertain to the 580/101 interchange, Bellam Boulevard and the cross-Canal bridge project. Twelve group rides (all current and former students invited) will have been held in locations chosen by the students themselves.

As you can see, there’s a lot that we plan to accomplish over the next 18 months. With the support of the Marin Community Foundation, we know that we can get it done. It’s time to get to work. To learn more about the Cory’s Ride program and help us reach even greater heights, click here

The Marin Community Foundation (MCF) is the primary center for philanthropy in Marin County. And, it’s one of the largest community foundations in the U.S. MCF makes significant improvements in communities in two ways: by spearheading initiatives for long-term, sustainable change in Marin, and by distributing grants from over 500 donor-advised funds locally, across the U.S., and around the world. Founded in 1987, the Marin Community Foundation has assets of over $3 billion, with annual grant distributions of approximately $150 million.

We would like to acknowledge the key people and partners that make Cory’s Ride possible: Tim and Suzanne Leonoudakis for creating Cory’s Ride in memory of their beloved son. Our amazing donors and MCBC members for their support. Cleary Bikes, Backroads, and Mike’s Bikes for helping us out with our equipment needs. It takes a village, and we couldn’t do it without all of your generosity. If you are interested in joining Team Cory’s Ride as a donor, click below. 

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