The history of the American Red Cross is rooted in its efforts to support those in the military. Born on the battlefield through Clara Barton’s support of Civil War soldiers, in the Central California region volunteers continue to support veterans and military families, and their caregivers even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And because emergencies don’t stop, our Hero Care Network still offers 24/7 emergency communications and we have provided several virtual Resiliency workshops including a COVID-19 specific online course that teaches stress-coping tools and communication plans and goals.
When it comes to supporting our armed forces, we look to a special group of volunteers in the Pacific Coast chapter who rallied together five years ago to create a different way to give back. This year we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Ride for the Red, a cycling event through beautiful Ventura County benefitting our Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program.
Founded by Ken Bauer, and Kevin & Di Delson; the inaugural committee in 2015 included Susan Bauer, Susan Wolf, Marcus Ryle, Kris & Tim Meathrell, Shirley Byrne, Cris Hagen, Melissa & Dale Livingston, and Stewart Stone. For more than five years, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised to support Service to the Armed Forces.
It’s easy when you pair together the heart of helping others with the willingness to roll up your sleeves. Great things can happen. Hear from a few of our co-founders as they share some of their thoughts as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Ride for the Red.
“The origins of the Ride for the Red were at a BBQ reunion where Di, Kevin and I started talking about the Red Cross and the Service to Armed Forces program. We have a dedicated group of SAF volunteers who needed financial support to carry out their amazing efforts here in our Region. With Di and Kevin being active bike riders, our conversation turned to doing bike rides to raise money. Each year the ride has grown in riders, sponsors and donors.
Our great SAF volunteers who meet departing service members and their families, support them while they are away on duty and when they return are the cornerstone of the Red Cross.” –Ken Bauer, Board Member of the Pacific Coast Chapter and co-founder
“In 2014, Ken, Kevin, and I brainstormed what we could do for our community that could be something special, and that benefited our military, veterans and their families. Kevin, being an avid cyclist, is what sparked the idea for our first cycling event. My vision for our event is for all American Red Cross regions to host their own Ride for The Red, with spectators on the sidelines cheering, waving American flags and saluting our military cyclists as they ride by…Tour de American Red Cross!” –Di Krehbiel Delson, co-founder
“It has been an incredible experience to be involved in this event as founding member of the team. The Ride for the Red’s dedication to supporting SAF is one that all the volunteers, staff, sponsors, and riders feel passionate and excited about. It is truly a joyous and heartwarming experience to witness the community come together to support this ride. It has been amazing to see the attendance increase year over year and to see the effort and commitment in making this ride an annual community and family event. As chairperson for the 2021 Ride for the Red, I can’t wait to turn the event back on!” –Susan Wolf, 2021 Ride for the Red Chair
Earlier this year, prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Di and Susan shared the Ride for the Red story with the City of Camarillo.
Check it out below!
If you are interested in supporting the work of the American Red Cross through the Service to the Armed Forces program, visit this website to make a donation today!