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A Conversation with Jade Wilcoxson
We chat with Jade about a recent event and her involvement with World Bicycle Relief
Jade Wilcoxson is a member of the Optum Pro Cycling Women’s Team. She’s a pro bike racer and a great gal on a personal level. She grows a lot of her own food and tries to live small… that is, for a lady who is a pretty big deal on the bike. Anyway, Jade recently worked with us to be a part of a World Bicycle Relief charity auction/benefit dinner. We donated an Orca Dama Bronze frameset, and we thought it was fitting that a big part of what WBR does is to assist and empower young women in Africa. After a successful event, here’s how our conversation with the tireless Jade Wilcoxson went:
Orbea: Hi Jade, thanks for helping us out. Take your time on this. Tell us about the World Bicycle Relief charity and why you feel strongly about it.
Jade: World Bicycle Relief (WBR) is a great way to combine my love of bicycles with my need to make a positive contribution to society. I feel that it's important to give back to the community and improve the world we live in. It's difficult at times to feel like I'm making the world a better place when I'm flying all over the globe to race my bike. In particular, I have a passion for improving girl's access to education. WBR has an Educational Empowerment Program that aims to provide 50,000 bikes to students (70% are girls), teachers, and educational workers in Africa. This enables them to arrive safely and efficiently at school and be ready to learn.
Orbea: How did the fund raiser come about? Who hosted it? Any highlights of the night?
Jade: This was our 2nd annual WBR fundraiser at Good Life Brewery in Bend, Oregon. My team, Optum Pro Cycling, has been committed to raising money for WBR for several years. When I joined the team in 2012, I was excited to make the commitment as well. Since the Cascade Cycling Classic is our only Oregon based NRC race, and it's as close to a hometown race as I can get, I thought it would be a great opportunity to rally the team around a fundraiser. This year Alex Candelario, who lives in Bend, was anxious to help with the logistics as well, and we planned the 2013 fundraiser together. We raised $6000. That’s twice as much money as last year, and we think we can do even better next year. This $6000 will buy 44 bikes; that’s 44 opportunities to change a person's life.
Orbea: What was the response from the girl who won the auction for the Orca Dama Bronze frameset? Can you tell us anything about her?
Jade: The person who won the frame is an avid cyclist. She puts a lot of miles on her bikes. She is a small person and will benefit from the women's specific geometry that the Orca Dama provides. There were several people in a bidding war for the frame, and she was very excited to win! (Editor's note: we noticed that the winner was none other than Lex Albrecht, a Canadian female pro cyclist who used to ride on the Optum Pro Cycling team - currently on the Now and Novartis for MS procycling team. We're sure she does put in some miles!)
Orbea: That’s awesome! Thanks so much for all you do.
Jade: Thank you guys for the frameset contribution. We really appreciate the support!