Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes can count on UFC as its official title sponsor for the 34th annual Race Across America (RAAM) and its efforts to support military heroes and their families.
The cycling team, comprised of four elite amateur athletes, will compete in the 3,000-mile competitive endurance race to raise awareness and charitable contributions for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF).
Established in 2000 and recognized as an independent non-profit organization in 2003, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has become a national leader in supporting the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces along with their families.
Competing on Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes are Winston Fisher, partner with the Fisher Brothers real estate firm in New York; Evan “Chip” Marks, co-founder of Sungate Asset Management LLC; Brian Collins, Head of Development for Fisher Brothers; and Jessica Lynn Marino, an equity sales trader for Instinet. The team’s manager is Jimmy Riccitello, Global Head Referee for Ironman and XTERRA World Champion.
Fisher, Marks, and Collins competed in the 2014 RAAM and Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes won the eight-person division, finishing the grueling race in less than six days and raising more than $650,000 for the IFHF.
UFC’s support as title sponsor increases Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes’ total amount raised to date to more than $450,000. The team hopes to raise more than $650,000 to help build Intrepid Spirit Centers, diagnostic and treatment facilities that aid military heroes suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and psychological health conditions.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of UFC and its commitment to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces,” Fisher said. “UFC’s donation will directly benefit veterans who were injured while serving our nation. Those who sacrificed for us and motivate us on our journey, and we are proud to give back with the help of organizations like UFC.”
“UFC has long supported the men and women who have selflessly served and displayed the courage and dedication that embodies the best of our country,” said Lou Lauria, UFC Vice President of Federation Relationships and Corporate Social Responsibility. “Partnering with Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes, as they embark on another successful race across America, is a great way to raise awareness and funding for the critically needed work they do in supporting those who serve.”
UFC has sponsored numerous “Fight for the Troops” events at bases across the country and is continuously conducting base tours, hospital visits, combative and interactive athlete/soldier training. UFC has also partnered to supply veterans’ organizations with tickets to UFC events, as well as hosting numerous autograph signings and athlete appearances annually.
Intrepid Spirit Centers are being funded and built by the IFHF through a $100 million fundraising campaign. Although the construction of each center is funded exclusively through private donations, each facility is gifted to the United States Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion. All centers will be located on military bases or veterans medical centers around the country.
Centers are operational in Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with centers currently under construction at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas. Four additional centers are scheduled for construction, each of which will be 25,000 square feet and cost approximately $11 million to complete and equip with the latest in brain technology and devices.
The cycling team incurs all costs while participating in the race as all donations go towards construction costs of Intrepid Spirit Centers.
Widely recognized as the world’s toughest endurance bicycle race, RAAM has attracted competitors from 35 countries and has become one of America’s longest continuously running cycling events. Beginning Saturday in Oceanside, Calif., riders have 12 days to complete the race, which concludes in Annapolis, Md. In the team division, at least one rider must be on the road at all times for the team to advance.