By Jenny Amaral / The Daily Item
PEABODY – Charitable organizations have found it to be difficult to raise funds for their causes in years past, but with the falling economy, they’re feeling the heat even more.
Two local businessmen, however, hope they can help turn things around.
Dean Phillips and Marty Miserandino, co-owners of the specialty bike shop Fit Werx 2 on Foster Street have decided to reward their customers with a 3 percent donation to their charity of choice.
“During tough economic times, it is hard for people to raise money for charities,” said Miserandino. “We feel this initiative is a great way to help cyclists reach their fundraising goals and do some good for charities at the same time.”
The idea came to Miserandino while in the shower.
“No joking,” he laughs. “Oftentimes, to be a sponsor, you have to give a lot of money up front. That’s not something we can do, but can certainly give back.”
Miserandino said that customers of his shop are typically serious cyclists who often participate in charitable races, triathlons or long distance riding events. They can spend anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000 on a bike at their shop. With a 3 percent donation, they could earn up to $600 back in one shot. All the customer has to do to participate is simply ask.
“It’s really simple,” said Miserandino. “The person doesn’t really have to do anything other than tell us they want to be a part of it, what they’re charity is, and when the ride is.”
And, that rider’s friends, family members or co-workers can also help raise money for their cause when they purchase something at the store, even if they’re not riding themselves. They just notify the sales associate of the person and their charity that they would like their purchase to count toward.
For example, riders of the Pan Mass Challenge have been asked to raise at least $1,000 in order to participate.
“If they come here to buy their gear, we can help them reach that goal quicker,” said Miserandino.
So far, Miserandino said about 20 people have accepted the store’s offer.
“Fit Werx realizes that charity and benefit rides are important to the folks who are riding for a variety of reasons, as well as the funding needed to help change the future of the beneficiary,” said Miserandino. “We hope that giving back to a rider’s event will help accomplish their fundraising goals.”