Wow! Hundreds of teams have raised more than $600,000 since the inception of the Early Bird Registration program in 1998. KUDOS! to all the teams that have participated.
The American Lung Association leads the way in the battle against tobacco. They work to educate kids before they get hooked and are active in helping those who currently suffer from tobacco-related illness.
You can race for FREE and feel proud about the work you help support. The fund raising part is easy and it pays your way into the race. Click on the appropriate link below to download your Early Bird Registration Application. You can fill it out on-screen then print it out and mail it in. The ALA will then send your Team Captain a fund raising kit that you and your teammates can use to begin raising money for this noble cause. There is a $25 team application fee which covers the ALA's administration costs.
Thank you for taking a stand for kids and taking a stand against tobacco.
The 24 Hours of Vail Lake
Hours of Moab
The American Lung Association of West Virginia and Granny Gear Productions originally designed the Early Bird program. Now the program operates in conjunction with all the GGP events, benefiting the local Alas. Last year, over 200 of the most wonderful mountain bikers in the world raised more than $154,000 for the ALA. We can't thank the Early Bird participants or the great folks at Granny Gear enough for their help in making these fundraising events successful.
Your efforts help us continue our work to keep children from becoming addicted to cigarettes and provide programs that improve the quality of life for children with asthma as well as conduct other programs aimed at eliminating lung disease.
For nearly 90 years, the American Lung Association has led the fight against lung disease. Decades ago, our primary challenge was tuberculosis. With the ALA in the lead, the United States virtually wiped out tuberculosis.
One of the most tremendous threats to the health of our nation is the use of tobacco. Every day 1,148 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses. Thatí s 419,000 deaths annually. Americans pay $72 billion a year in health care costs directly related to smoking tobacco.
Every day in America, 3,000 kids start smoking. One-third will die prematurely as a result. Once they are hooked, teens find it nearly impossible to quit. Seventy percent of teen smokers say they regret smoking. Yet three out of four teens who smoke try to quit and can't. Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug.
One program of the American Lung Association focuses on teens to increase their ability to chose a healthy, tobacco-free lifestyle. This program, called Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), empowers teens to become advocates for a tobacco-free society. It provides students, their families and teachers the latest tobacco-use prevention materials. TATU increases students' awareness of the influence that $6 billion in annual tobacco advertising has on their peers' use of tobacco.
The TATU program trains teens to be anti-tobacco educators who take the smoke-free message to elementary school students. Through this program, we have the opportunity to reach thousands of elementary students each year with a tobacco education message while reinforcing each teen mentor's decision to remain tobacco free.
Last fall, the American Lung Association debuted a new teen cessation program called NOT (Not On Tobacco) that was developed at the Prevention Research Center at West Virginia University. This program is currently being field-tested in 20 states. We know kids want to quit and we're providing them with the tools to succeed.
We cannot compete with the billions of dollars the tobacco industry spends each year trying to create a new generation of smokers. However, working together, we can empower teens and children so that they will not fall victim to tobacco. We can create a society in which tobacco use is not acceptable.
Our affiliation with Granny Gear Productionsí 24 Hour Race Series has been a great experience for all of us at the American Lung Association. It gives us the chance to work with some wonderful people and to raise money to continue important programs such as TATU and NOT. If you have ideas on how to make our role in these 24 hour races more successful, we'd love to hear from you. If you would like more information about the ALA or its programs, contact us via phone or e-mail.
And, please, stop by the ALA tent during the race and say hello to our staff and volunteers. We would love to meet each of you and say thank you personally!
Sara M. Crickenberger
Granny Gear Productions, Inc.
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