These Two Rodman Riders Know Where the Heart Is: Home

George Forte and John Ratcliffe have a lot in common.

Their support for the Italian Home for Children, a longtime Rodman for Kids affiliate, goes back to the 1980s.

They both spend their days working with numbers. George manages finances at the Italian Home (He’s on the right in the above picture. John is next to him.). John is founder of his own CPA firm.

Both George and John have been participating in the Rodman Ride for Kids since the 1990s. They both ride the 50 mile route.

They both have raised a lot of money through the years. John has raised $60,000. And George has raised – both personally and from riders he’s recruited for the event – $337,644!

But George and John are different, especially in one way you wouldn’t expect.

“I never train for it,” said John. “I just go out that day and do it.”

George, on the other hand, trains all summer to prepare for the 50 mile route.

“I learned after the first year that I needed to train,” said George. “I did the 25 mile route that year and I almost didn’t make it!”

But year after year they’ve both rode to support an organization they care deeply for, The Italian Home for Children.

“The children that come to the Home have been rejected by just about everyone. Parents, schools, institutions,” explained George. “But our promise is never to reject them.”

It’s been the Home’s mission since 1918 when it was established to aid orphans after the Influenza Epidemic. Today, The Italian Home for Children specializes in the assessment and treatment of behavioral and mental health issues.

George and John’s love for Rodman Ride reflect their backgrounds in nonprofit, finance and accounting. They love the numbers behind the event!

“100 percent of the money raised from the ride supports at-risk kids,” said George. “There are no paid fundraisers at Rodman Ride. Everything is donated.”

“In addition, there’s a six percent match for every dollar raised,” said John. “Donors respond to that.”

For this weekend’s ride, George and John have one more difference. After twenty years, George is taking a break. But he’s still participating as a virtual rider.

George will be rooting for all the riders, especially John, who he recruited for the ride 15 years ago.

The uphill challenge to help at-risk children continues this weekend. John and George – one on his bike, the other from his computer – are setting a GOOD pace.

Good luck to them and all the riders this weekend!

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