The IRONMAN Foundation® will provide a $100,000 Humanitarian Relief Effort Grant to the City of Panama City Community Development to help them solve the housing shortage created by Hurricane Michael. Specifically, the grant will help to fund new technology using 3D concrete robot printers that will build affordable and durable concrete homes. In addition to the grant funding, the IRONMAN Foundation, in partnership with FLO Cycling, will host a “Bike for a Kid” pop-up service project in the IRONMAN Village on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10. IRONMAN® 70.3® Gulf Coast athletes, along with their families and friends, are invited to visit the IRONMAN Foundation booth to assemble a bike for local kids in need. A total of 300 bikes will be built and distributed to children within the region in conjunction with IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast on May 11 and IRONMAN Florida on November 2.
“We are extremely grateful to the IRONMAN Foundation for their revolutionary efforts to solve Bay County’s housing shortage created by Hurricane Michael,” shares President and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach Dan Rowe. “We look forward to welcoming IRONMAN back to our destination this year and thank all the athletes, friends and families who are committed to race to help rebuild.”
When the Category 5 hurricane made landfall in October 2018, Hurricane Michael was one of the strongest storms to ever hit the Florida Panhandle. In the wake of its devastation, IRONMAN and local partners concluded that it would not be feasible to host the 20th edition of the IRONMAN Florida triathlon in its usual location of Panama City Beach, Florida, prompting the relocation to Haines City, the home of IRONMAN 70.3 Florida. The IRONMAN Foundation, along with generous support from HOKA ONE ONE, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and the IRONMAN community around the world, raised over $200,000 in Humanitarian Relief to support the region’s needs, which will include a large-scale community rebuilding project on Sunday, November 3.
“As we return to Panama City Beach and Bay County for the upcoming IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast and November’s IRONMAN Florida, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Panama City to create cutting-edge, sustainable housing solutions and bring more families home,” said Sarah Hartmann, Executive Director for the IRONMAN Foundation. “We invite our community of IRONMAN athletes, their families and friends to join us to race and help rebuild the community.”
The housing branch of the Bay County Long Term Recovery Task Force has been very aggressive and innovative in identifying potential solutions for the housing crisis. Returning families to a normal and healthy living environment is critical to maintaining health and well-being in the community.
“Bay County has a desperate need for safe and affordable housing as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018,” said Michael Johnson, Director of Community Development/CRA. “In the immediate aftermath of major disasters like Michael, the need for affordable housing to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people becomes more acute. The innovative 3D smart homes we are planning need to be developed in well-designed communities to replace the housing shortages created by the recent storm. With the IRONMAN Foundation’s generous donation of $100,000, we will be allowed to be the first in the area to apply this type of new, innovative technology. Thank you IRONMAN Foundation!”
The grant award will be presented on Friday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. local time at the Edgewater Convention Center in Panama City Beach, FL.
To support the IRONMAN Foundation Humanitarian Relief Effort Campaign, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/relief. For more information on the community rebuilding project on November 3, go to www.ironmanfoundation.org/florida.
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