It's no secret that we love bicycles here at ALINE. While our founders Drew & Chuck Refshauge spend most of their downtime on a mountain bike somewhere, just about every member of the ALINE team cycles in some form or fashion regularly.
That’s why we spend so much time talking about the Spartanburg Downtown Criterium, an annual cycling event that was held in our hometown for the 15th time a few days ago. ALINE has been a proud sponsor of “The Crit” for several years, in part because it is such a natural passion for our company and culture.
But that passion is about much more than the state-of-the-art bicycles, world-class cyclists and exciting racing around a tight course smack-dab in the middle of Downtown Spartanburg. It’s about community and an organization that has done and is continuing to do an enormous amount to build a healthier Spartanburg.
Partners for Active Living organizes and is host for The Crit. Its staff, board members and volunteers put in hundreds of hours each year to pull off one of the best community events anywhere — one that seemingly gets bigger and better every year. And the benefits far outlast the one night of fun. They go to the heart of PAL’s mission of inspiring a healthy and active Spartanburg County.
The money raised each year from The Crit — about $70,000 this year alone — goes into the organization’s work further developing Spartanburg’s robust and expanding trail network, as well as programs that help schoolchildren be more active and all Spartanburg County residents have more access to recreational opportunities and healthy foods.
“One of the benefits of these event proceeds is that they are undesignated and can be used where needed,” PAL Executive Director Laura Ringo said. “Some years they are focused on one project. This year they will support many – they will cover a portion of our work with nine elementary and middle schools to promote health, a portion of the new dockless BCycles, signs and some engineering work for new trails.”
In short, PAL is one of the most irreplaceable pieces of our community — they are impacting lives every day and building a stronger Spartanburg. That’s why ALINE is proud to support them and their work.
Of course, PAL isn’t the only organization doing great work in Spartanburg. Another recent event that ALINE sponsors, the Hub City Hog Fest, has developed into one of the most anticipated events on the Spartanburg calendar. Organized by a local group of volunteers and barbecue aficionados, the Hog Fest has raised nearly $400,000 in seven years for Mobile Meals of Spartanburg — money that has paid for thousands of meals for homebound and other Spartanburg County residents in need.
In 2019, ALINE has sponsored the work of Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg through Laugh for a Child. This annual event is a load of fun and benefits local children who otherwise would go without dental care. And we’re very excited about our partnership with The Spartanburg Area Conservancy and the brand new event it is hosting on May 16, Bonnamoo. This celebration of food, music and farms will raise money for SPACE’s important work of local land conservation and protection of natural resources.
Events like the Crit, Hog Fest, Laugh for a Child, and (we’re certain) Bonnamoo are great reminders of what makes Spartanburg such a special place. Yes, they are incredibly fun events that add a lot to the quality of life in our community. But beyond that, because they are organized and run by organizations and people who put community first, their impact is profound on Spartanburg and the people who live here. They make Spartanburg a better place for everyone.
And so, from our team at ALINE to the PAL, Hog Fest, Healthy Smiles and SPACE teams, and the many other organizations supporting our community: Thank you.