Basin Electric employees rode in the Sanford Health Great American Bike Race (GABR) April 13 to help raise money for children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities. GABR funds help pay for equipment and services that insurance doesn’t cover.
Bob Eriksen, Basin Electric senior environmental compliance administrator, was a part of the committee that started the event 17 years ago. Eriksen was motivated to start the event to raise funds for children like his son, Matthew who has cerebral palsy. “Dr. Murphy, a pediatric physiatrist from Duluth, who comes to Bismarck once a month, came to our cerebral palsy parent support group meeting and talked to us about getting a bike race going to raise funds to help pay medical bills for children with cerebral palsy. So we got some people together and a few bikes, I think the first year there were about nine bikes and now we have 108 bikes,” Eriksen says.
Eriksen explains that his son has benefitted greatly from the proceeds of GABR. “He has had many surgeries and therapy sessions over the years and GABR has helped make them possible by paying for what insurance doesn’t pay,” Eriksen says.
Eriksen’s story is a reminder of the reason to ride. Watch the video to hear about how Ericksen got started doing GABR.
Eriksen’s efforts in organizing GABR since 1997 have paid off. Eriksen was honored at the race with the annual Lindsay Trauger “Spirit Award” for his many years of service to GABR.
GABR’s total for funds raised this year is $400,000 and climbing.
This is the 12th year Basin Electric has had a team entered in GABR. Out of 108 teams, the Basin Electric Power Pedalers, with team captain, Marian Voeller, Basin Electric senior administrative assistant, took 18th place in miles pedaled at the event, totaling 82.26 miles and raising their record amount of $5,019!