“Ride to Thrive” seeks to remove the barriers that keep underserved youth from experiencing the joy of exploring the world on two wheels.
STILLWATER, OKLA — The Leadership Stillwater Class XXXI, a group passionate about the growth and well-being of the Stillwater Community, has partnered with Lake McMurtry Friends to assist in funding the 2023 launch of the “Ride to Thrive” program.

Leadership Stillwater believes “Ride to Thrive” is well-aligned with the heart and purpose of their program. The group has set a goal of raising $20,000 by January 2023 to provide the necessary start-up funds and a margin for future program sustainability. 

The first of its kind in Stillwater, “Ride to Thrive” introduces kids to the importance of physical activity, healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship through biking and other outdoor recreation. Focusing on at-risk middle school youth, participants will have the opportunity to earn a bike, helmet, lock, water bottle and a ten-year membership to Lake McMurtry while attending bike maintenance clinics, healthy nutrition classes and group rides with local biking clubs. “Ride to Thrive” believes these efforts build confidence, resulting in better school performance and healthier relationships for all involved. 
“We’re excited to partner with Lake McMurtry friends on Ride to Thrive,” says Barry Fuxa, Stillwater Public Schools Communications Coordinator and Leadership Stillwater participant. “Physical activity, particularly something like biking, that has such a large supportive community, is a vital part of a children’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

As part of its efforts to support the fledgling program, Leadership Stillwater is working to help raise funds. The class has coordinated gameday parking and a restaurant night, as well as solicited donations from local businesses. 

There will be an all-ages fundraising event on December 18 at Stonecloud Stillwater. Free activities for kids, including pictures with Santa, face painting, cookies & milk eating contest, and cookie decorating kits, will be scheduled from 3 - 6pm, followed by bingo and trivia for adults in the evening. Throughout the week and concluding at 9pm on the 18th, a silent auction will be hosted. Items include McKnight Center tickets, a catered Chick-Fil-A lunch, works by local artists, and more. Stonecloud will also be donating a portion of sales that day to Ride to Thrive. 

“We’re so appreciative of Stonecloud and all our event sponsors and donations,” said Macy Stokes, Leadership Stillwater participant and Fundraising Committee Co-Chair.  “We can’t wait to see the great things Ride to Thrive will do for the children of this community.”

To donate to this cause, contact a member of the LSW Class XXXI or send a check payable to Lake McMurtry Friends via mail to: 
Stillwater Chamber of Commerce 
409 South Main St.
Stillwater, OK  74074
ATTN: Leadership Stillwater Class XXXI

About Leadership Stillwater: Leadership Stillwater is a dynamic program designed to identify and empower emerging leaders in the community. Each class is asked to review non-profit applicants to be the beneficiary of the group's philanthropic effort for their class year.