Labonte Foundation surprises youth with bikes

WINSTON-SALEM – The Bobby Labonte Foundation, founded by NASCAR Champion and Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Labonte, teamed up with Herbalife Nutrition to build and donate 60 youth bikes at the YWCA of Winston-Salem recently as part of the foundation’s annual charitable efforts.

The surprise giveaway, which benefited children enrolled at the YWCA’s Best Choice Learning Center, also included helmets and bike safety lessons provided by Brenner Children’s Hospital.

The Bobby Labonte Foundation and Herbalife also surprised center representatives with two oversized checks for $10,000 each. The Best Choice Learning Center focuses on education and income equality, providing K-8 academic enrichment and need-based scholarships along with nutrition education, healthy snacks and hot meals.

“My foundation works in partnership with the local community and community organizations to empower parents, families and children to build a strong foundation for their futures. Encouraging kids to live a healthy lifestyle is one way to do that,” Bobby Labonte said. “We are so grateful for partners like Herbalife who help make our efforts possible. They were excited to pitch in to support the Best Choice Learning Center too, which is an invaluable resource for so many families in our community.”

The bikes were built by employees at Herbalife’s Winston-Salem facility the day before with guidance from bike mechanics at Paul’s Cycling and Fitness.

Before the children received their bikes, Labonte and his wife, Kristin, a former national champion cyclist, encouraged them to stay healthy by being active and to always wear helmets when riding. Hayluri Beckles, Pediatric Trauma Prevention Coordinator at Brenner Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Northwest Piedmont Coordinator, showed them how to ride their bikes safely before the children were fitted with new helmets of their own.

“Today has been an awesome day for the Best Choice Learning Center,” said Marilyn Odom, vice president of youth services at YWCA of Winston-Salem. “We are so appreciative of the Bobby Labonte Foundation and Herbalife’s donations of bikes and helmets, plus the $20,000 financial gift. These funds will enable us to continue to help children, while the bikes will help them stay active. We’ve also learned the importance of bike safety, and we are so happy about all of it.”

By Randolph Record