VeloCity Atlanta 2020: Charity event goes virtual with some fun added features

The third annual VeloCity Atlanta, of which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a presenting sponsor, will continue this year, but with a few changes due to COVID-19. The Grady Health Foundation event is a fundraiser for Grady Health System.

“This year we’re offering a virtual opportunity,” Joselyn Baker, president of Grady Health Foundation, explained. This allows it to transition from a one-day opportunity to one that’s being held from Sept. 7-Nov. 7. Registration is already open online.

VeloCity raises money for Grady through a $25 registration fee, which unlocks a virtual goody bag, and by fundraising. You’ll also be eligible to earn incentives as you hit certain fundraising goals, such as a VeloCity T-shirt when you raise $50.

Even though participants won’t be able to celebrate together and hug at the finish line as they did in previous years, the changes for this year’s VeloCity event are quite positive, Baker said. For example, biking was the only way to take part in VeloCity in the past, but walking and running are offered as additional options this year.

In addition, instead of breaking a sweat on only one day, you can spread your miles out over two months. You can also choose to bike on some days and walk or run on others.

“The great thing is that if someone wants to support Grady, you really can design it in your own way,” Baker said. “If doing a couple of miles every other day works for you, you can do that.”

Other changes this year include Zoom meetings that are being held with team captains, Zoom lunch and learns, virtual meet-ups and more. You can also use technology to share favorite running, walking or biking routes with other participants and compare your progress.

Baker said that some of these changes can still be incorporated in subsequent VeloCity events, even when things return to normal.

“We’ve gotten some great response so far, and we’re really excited about what these next couple of months will hold. We’re learning some great lessons,” she said.

In addition to the AJC, other sponsors include Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation and Hennessy Automobile Companies. Sponsors have paid for expenses, so money raised by participants goes directly to Grady, Baker said.

Registration for the event is available online.