By Jesse Wood
June 30, 2014. Western Youth Network (WYN) was awarded the first Sonny Sweet Honorary Grant on Friday afternoon. Blood Sweat and Gears facilitates the grant at the direction of Sweet, a co-founder of Blood Sweat and Gears. The creation of the grant was announced at a Memorial Day event at the Boone Mall in May.
The ceremonial check was awarded during a pre-ride event, where riders pick up their participant packets at the Valle Crucis School, which is where the Saturday ride event began and ended.
Western Youth Network was awarded $17,500. WYN Executive Director Jennifer Warren was presented the ceremonial check on Friday evening. An additional $2,500 was awarded to a Community Outreach Center, which is a weekend backpack-feeding program for kids in need conducted through the Three Forks Baptist Church.
“A BIG THANK YOU to Blood Sweat and Gears and all of the cyclists for their incredible support and participation this past weekend! We are honored to be the recipient of the first Sonny Sweet Honorary Grant! Thank you for supporting our community’s youth!” a Facebook post from WYN noted.
The $20,000 in the name of Sonny Sweet was in addition to a similar grant in honor of Jim Harmon, another co-founder of Blood Sweat and Gears. $10,000 was awarded to the Hunger and Health Coalition under the Jim Harmon Honorary Grant.
BSG Ride Director Scott Nelson said that at least another $25,000 (“ballpark figure”) will be awarded to other organizations such as the local Kiwanis Club and volunteer fire departments along the 100-mile BSG route. Those fire departments include Blowing Rock, Stewart Simmons, Deep Gap, Fleetwood, Todd, Meat Camp, Creston, Zionville, Cove Creek and Beaver Dam.