Venture Training has gained backing from national cycling champion Leah Goldstein of Vernon.
Goldstein has selected the organization as her charitable cause for the 2019 Race Across America (RAAM) bicycle race.
Venture Training, whose theme is ‘Turning Disabilities into Abilities Since 1955,’ operates five group homes and a home-share program for family settings. They also offer employment opportunities and several programs aimed at developing a wide range of skills for participants.
Goldstein, 49, is a kickboxing champion, motivational speaker and author who once worked with the Israeli secret police. She retired from 13 years on the pro road race circuit in the spring of 2010, following an accident in which she broke both of her arms, and is now concentrating on ultra-endurance racing. Race Across America is known as “the World’s Toughest Bicycle Race.”
“I have several connections with Venture Training, so it was an easy choice for me to raise funds for people with developmental disabilities as part of the philanthropy component of RAAM,” said Goldstein. “I look forward to attending the upcoming Venture Training events and it will be great to have an awesome group of people cheering me on during the race next June.”
Keeping with the cycling theme, Venture Training is holding a Bike Drive Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Kin Race Track. Venture Training’s Cycle-Cycle program will be taking bike donations, selling refurbished bikes and parts at the event.
Said Ryan Cucheron, Executive Director of Venture Training: “We also plan on having local bike shops set up so that people can come out and try out bikes and talk to bike experts. Leah will be at the event to talk about the RAAM, meeting our staff, participants and the public. She is such a positive role model and ambassador for the community that we want everyone to meet her and cheer her on as she competes in the world’s toughest bicycle race.”
Goldstein knew since she began to talk that she wanted to be Bruce Lee. Growing up in Vancouver with new immigrant parents, Leah was often bullied at school because of her accent, speech impediment and her limp. Leah realized at a very young age that the answer wasn’t running from her problems, but facing them head-on.