Paws For A Cause
Each month Unleashed! will spotlight a worthy cause that can benefit
from our support.
If you know of a person, or cause that is worthy of mention and would like to have them featured, please feel free to contact us.
Race For Kids
Professional cyclist (and amazing dog parent) Steven Cozza founded Race for Kids a 501(C)(3) organization in 2009
to make a difference in the lives of children who are living with disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.
The organization aims to provide awareness and support of causes benefiting these children through its philanthropic activities, fundraising efforts, website and social media.
Steven’s motto while racing and to children was to “Never Give up!” no matter what obstacle they faced.
What is the history behind Race for Kids? The inspiration for Race for Kids came from Steven and his father, Scott. When Steven became an elite professional cyclist, racing internationally, he decided he wanted to help disadvantaged children throughout the world. With this intention, he and Scott came up with the program called the Race for Kids Fan Club.
In 2009, Steven began raising money by rallying his fans to make donations that would help children in need by asking them to donate to a list of selected charities identified on his website. The money raised by fans went directly to charities around the world that helped disadvantaged children.
Many fans donated funds directly to Race for Kids – that money collected went to pre-selected children suffering from life threatening illnesses. In 2010, Race for Kids raised $800 for the organization Families of SMA Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the name of young Aaron Phelps. In 2011, Race for Kids received 501 C 3 nonprofit status, shortly before Steven was forced to retire from cycling when he was diagnosed with colitis. In 2012, Race for Kids raised $1,058.58 for 2 year old Brody Tatman, who was diagnosed that January with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Driven by his undying passion to help others, Steven retired from cycling and dreamed up an event he and his nurturing Petaluma community would eventually call the Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo (PKGF). This event would give Race for Kids new life and inspiration as an organization to again help make a difference in the lives of children that were disadvantaged suffering from chronic or life threatening illnesses – and the inaugural event would come to life in 2013 in the town where he was born and raised.
This yearly fundraising event brings kids together to help raise money for designated children in need, and to also provide funding for participating local schools. Headed into its 3rd year, the Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo is anticipated to continue growing in participation and donation, exponentially.
Race for Kids has a Board of Directors and PKGF Planning Committee and Volunteers who organize the Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo and other fund raising events. The Board Planning Committee and Volunteers all share Steven’s vision of helping children in need, helping the community they live in and helping to make the world a better place.