Early History of the BBC Grant Program

The late 1990s were financially tenuous times for the club. But the years 2000 and 2001 saw greater stability and increased interest in the club. The club saw fit to make some small donations to deCycles, the Bloomington South Solar Racing Team as well as to the county highway department for “Share the Road” signs.

In Fall 2002 the BBC board approved donations to two local groups, DeCycles and the BHSS Solar Bike Team, and was actively exploring other organizations to which we might donate. We also donated to America Bikes (a nonprofit coalition of national bicycling organizations).

By 2003 the RAIN Ride, under Joe Anderson’s direction, was achieving not just financial stability, but actually turning a significant profit, with the introduction of jersey sales, which Joe and Barbara Anderson initiated. The club began to explore ways of using these funds in more systematic ways.

In the fall of November 2003 the board approved donations totaling $6200 to DeCycles, the BHSS Solar Bike Team, Indiana Bicycle Coalition, America Bikes, Adventure Cycling, and the League of American Bicycles. At the same time we felt a need to be more intentional and systematic in the use of these funds.

An ad hoc grants committee chaired by V.P. Mike Navarro was formed to establish basic policies and procedures for a program of grants. It reported a proposal to the board in October 2004. The proposal was announced to the club at its annual meeting and banquet in March 2005.

The first year of the new procedures started with grant applications in the fall of 2005, with awards totaling about $10,000 taking place in spring 2006. DeCycles, the Solar Bike Team, and the Indiana Bicycle Coalition again received grants, as did Monroe County United Ministries, the Shalom Community Center, Girl Scouts, the Community Bike Project, Bloomington Parks and Rec, and Team Marshall (a female, African American Little 5 team, for their outreach efforts).

By Allan Edmonds (BBC President 2001-2008)