Gran Fondo NY names Operation Smile as official charity partner

Gran Fondo New York named Operation Smile, the international children’s medical charity, as the official charity partner for their 2013 cycling event. On May 19, approximately 7,000 athletes from over 70 countries will take on the challenging 110-mile ride, while giving back to children who desperately need our help.

This year marks the 3rd annual Gran Fondo New York, an event that brings Italian cycling culture to New York City. The event departs from the George Washington Bridge in New York City, travels north along the Hudson River, turns back around at its highest peak atop Bear Mountain and finishes in Weehawken, New Jersey with an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. All participants are invited to ride in support of Operation Smile and raise funds and awareness to make life-changing surgeries possible. This can be done with the simple step of donating during registration and/or starting your own One Smile Page, where friends, family and coworkers can easily donate online in support of the cause.

Operation Smile’s medical volunteers provide free surgery for children all over the world who suffer from cleft and other life-threatening facial deformities. Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. In as few as 45 minutes and for as little as $240, a surgery can change a child’s life forever.

To show appreciation for the cyclists’ support, Operation Smile is offering benefits based on each cyclist’s fundraising participation. Operation Smile will enhance the race experience for riders who raise $1,000 and above with experiential incentives including a VIP starting position, an invitation to the pre-ride VIP Gran Fondo and Operation Smile Private Event , and/or an invitation to the Operation Smile VIP post-ride celebration. The top three fundraisers will be called to the GFNY winner’s podium and the top fundraiser will be awarded the GFNY Champion’s jersey.

Register for Gran Fondo New York at www.granfondony.eventbrite.com. Riders can fundraise before, after and during the event. To set a fundraising goal, visit www.operationsmile.org/granfondo. Together with Operation Smile, Gran Fondo New York cyclists are turning their miles into smiles.

For updates about Gran Fondo New York, visit the event’s website at www.granfondony.com, follow @granfondony on Twitter, watch latest video clips on www.youtube.com/granfondony, and talk with other participants on www.facebook.com/granfondony.

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