We sat down with our Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff Byers, to Q+A about why he personally loves the Mike Nosco Memorial Foundation and what Amp Human is doing as a company to support their mission.
What’s the story behind the Mike Nosco Foundation?
On November 2, 2004, Jack Nosco’s little brother Mike, was killed in a horrific traffic accident. Mike was in the Navy for 20 years and he was dedicated to his country. He was also scheduled to be deployed to serve his third term in Iraq shortly after the accident. Jack is a firefighter and heard about the accident over the radio and had no idea it was his little brother. He was devastated. In an effort to process his grief, Jack jumped on his bike and rode an 80-mile road bike ride. It was this ride that inspired Jack to want to do more to remember his brother, and in 2009 he started the first Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride in his memory.
The ride started when Jack asked 10 friends to accompany him on riding the same course he rode after his brother’s death. He asked them to come with $100, so he could donate the money to a friend’s who had recently been diagnosed with bone cancer. To his surprise, more than 100 people showed up for the ride, each donated $100, and the ride is now an annual celebration of Mike Nosco’s death and helps support families who are going through tough times.
Who receives donations from the Mike Nosco Foundation?
The donations recipients are what makes the foundation truly special - it provides financial support to local families in need. The Nosco Foundation generally calls this “grievous illnesses”. Recipients include, but aren’t limited to, people who have been diagnosed with illnesses like cancer, ALS, MS and also have experienced hardships like car accidents.
What is the charity ride like?
Jack has designed the ride to be a physical test, so we are reminded what the recipients have to endure daily. It’s not intended to be easy, it’s intended to be reflective, and highlight emotional awareness of the recipients and what the foundation is about. The days starts in Thousand Oaks with coming together to chat about the foundation’s mission. After that, the ride starts, and it includes a moment of silence at the Mike’s crash site near the strawberry fields in Oxnard, then navigates back via the beautiful Santa Monica coastline. While the ride is the primary activity, the scene is also much bigger - every part of the ride day is donated from people in the community, including food and ride safety. After the event, Jack personally visits the recipients to give them their donations.
How are you involved with the organization?
I’ve gotten to know Jack Nosco personally very well and I’ve been on three Memorial Rides. I’ve been able to see first hand the impact this foundation has on people’s lives including the recipients, the volunteers, and everyone who shows up. It’s truly remarkable the amount of support from volunteers, donors and the community that come together for this memorial ride. I try to participate every year on the ride, donate and also be a friend to Jack.
Why do you participate yourself in the Memorial Ride?
I love how the foundation and ride is about community and not just about giving money. The ride truly inspires further giving on a much larger scale, and after you participate once, you feel part of a family. I appreciate that the foundation doesn’t have a full-time staff or overhead. It is run by volunteers, and every dollar that comes in from donations, goes directly to the recipients and their families.
What is Amp Human doing to support the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride this year?
In addition to the many Amp Human athletes and ambassadors who take part in the ride every year, someone from our team is also in attendance to hand out samples of PR Lotion to help those who want to use it. This year we are excited to announce that we will donate 10% of ALL our sales from Thanksgiving day to Giving Tuesday (November 28-December 2) to the Mike Nosco Memorial Foundation. We’re hoping we can donate around $10,000, and as a part of the Amp Human community, appreciate your support in this.
For more information on the Mike Nosco Foundation, to donate or register to ride, visit https://mikenosco.com/.
Photo credit: Veloimages shot for Mike Nosco Foundation.