Community involvement in action

The St. Jude Children’s hospital is the beneficiary of a bicycle ride slated for this weekend that wouldn’t be happening without the support of Target.

Motocross champion Ryan Dungey and Target are hosting the MN Major River-to-River Ride with Ryan Dungey on Sunday, July 15, featuring rides of different lengths and skill levels. The ride takes place the day after Dungey competes at Spring Creek in Millville, Minn. as part of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

The MN Major offers two different lengths – a 100 kilometer (62 mile) “Major” and a 25 mile “Minor”. Both will start at Bielenberg Sports Center in Woodbury, Minn. and follow a route through the St. Croix and Mississippi River valleys. Both rides are timed events and, there will be a timed hill climb for cyclists to test their skills. During the event, there will be a kids’ ride featuring a mile-long loop on the paths of the Bielenberg Sports Center.

The entire $50 registration fee goes to benefit St. Jude and support its mission of finding cures for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases while ensuring that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. The event will also be supported by Livestrong, the Lance Armstrong-founded organization that works to empower those affected by cancer. Dungey has been partnered with Livestrong since 2008 and joined the Global Envoy team in 2011.

“I’m really excited about The MN Major; this is a cause that is close to my heart,” said Dungey. “I lost my grandmother to cancer and am committed to doing what I can to help find a cure, and am honored to be in a position to work with my Target and Livestrong partners in an effort to support and contribute to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Target has been committed to supporting St. Jude for more than ten years. Target House, opened in 1999, provides apartments free-of-charge to families of children who are receiving life-saving treatment at St. Jude. Target also coordinates entertainment events on the St. Jude campus and promotes its commitment to education with the St. Jude School Presented by Target.

As a Minnesota native, Dungey came up with the River-to-River Ride as a way to incorporate his hometown roots with his enthusiasm for cycling, an activity he incorporates into his regular motocross training. As one of his main sponsors, Target worked with Dungey to develop the event and provide the resources needed to make it a reality.

"Ryan's drive and work ethic is inspiring. He is a true champion and brings that spirit to everything he does. We are honored to have been partnered with Ryan since 2009 and working with him to create the MN Major has been a highlight of the relationship,” says Devin O’Brien, a lifestyle marketing manager at Target.