How it All Started…
It all began in 2012 when I decided to take my fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to an entirely new level. I signed up for the Bike the US for MS where I would be cycling across the country in an effort to raise awareness for MS. I wanted to document my experience riding across the country with everyone, so I created the Phil Across America campaign.
Even today Phil Across America continues to be an inspiration to many as well as serving as a fundraising vehicle for many deserving charities. By combining cycling around the country and guest bartending appearances, we were able to raise over $20,000 annually for the charities we represent.
Since starting my MS fundraising efforts in 1999, we have raised over $350,000.
Passion for Giving Back
While my passion remains to eliminate MS and help those suffering the brutal effects of the disease, I also work tirelessly for other organizations.
Another charity organization that I ride for is Anchor House, which is an example of all that is good in the world. This organization takes in runaway kids who have desperate situations at home, provides them with an opportunity to thrive and prosper into college graduates who give back to society.
I also continue to help the Kidney Foundation in memory of my father who was diagnosed with the disease. He suffered through dialysis but was fortunate enough to receive a new kidney and with that, a new lease on life.
We’ve also participated with the American Diabetes Foundation, New Jersey Chapter as well as other countless organizations throughout the years.
My charitable efforts don’t stop with raising money. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Bike the US for MS, taking my experiences, love of cycling and dedication for giving back to a whole new level.
A Love for Cycling
I first started participating in the MS150 City to Shore Ride in 1999. My wife Laura is a huge volunteer for the ride and serves as a leader on the Planning Committee. The ride is held annually in late September.
In 2012 I added Bike the US for MS to my passions. This organization, headquartered in Blacksburg, VA does a number of rides across the US with their two feature rides being the TransAm (Yorktown, VA to San Francisco, June/July) and the Northern Tier (Bar Harbor Maine to Seattle June/July).
In 2012, I rode the TransAm, 3,800 miles over 62 days with 20 other riders. In 2013 I joined the Northern Tier for 13 days in Montana, Idaho and Washington State. My love for this organization continues as I was named to its Board of Directors in 2014.
In 2013, The Anchor House Ride for Runaways came into the picture. It was always a ride I had wanted to do and I remember it from when I was a kid. The Anchor House ride, which has been happening for over 30 years, is a 7-day, 500-mile ride.
In 2013 I convinced my great friend Steve Preville to join me on the ride. Besides raising money for an incredible cause, the ride itself is truly enjoyable. Of the 200 riders, over 70% of the riders return year after year, so it is like riding with the family you have not seen for an entire year.
Even a Pandemic Won’t Stop Our Efforts
Up until 2020, there wasn’t a soul that could stop me from my cycling and fundraising efforts but when COVID-19 took control of the world, I wasn’t sure the future of my efforts or being able to even participate.
With the uncertainty of the world, I knew I couldn’t let it stop me from helping those in need, who perhaps, needed it more than ever.
Even though my rides were canceled, my efforts weren’t and especially moving forward we need to be committed to raising the money and help those who need it the most. The needs of the people haven’t changed, so neither can our fundraising efforts. We can’t let anything come in our way of doing our part in giving back.
Be a Part of the Movement
Phi Across America encompasses so many things but one thing common in all, is giving back to those in need while doing something you love.
Become a part of the Phil Across America tidal wave! We can’t accomplish all that we want by doing it alone. Your support, whether financial or time volunteered, helps give back to our community charitable organizations.
So follow the events, join in on one of the rides or just do your own thing to bring attention to something you are passionate about while giving back to the community you love.
-Phil Cooper | CEO, TRNZ4m™ | Yardley, PA 19607