Zwift Grant Awarded to The DIRT Dad Fund

Recognizing its commitment to the virtual cycling community, the DIRT Zwift team-inspired organization will receive $5,000 and 20 complimentary Zwift accounts to further its mission.

The inaugural Zwift Microgrant Program highlights the online cycling platform’s commitment to supporting its global community. Zwift’s People, Growth, and Impact team awarded five grants to worthy charitable organizations aligned with its social impact mission.

The DIRT Dad Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization created in January 2021 to support members of the virtual cycling community who need a financial Ride ON! The committee founded by Christopher Schwenker includes Jason Stern (DIRT Zwift Team co-founder), Tim Busick, and Pete Butler

The DIRT Dad Fund’s mission is to harness the power of “The DIRT Effect” in assisting members of the virtual cycling community experiencing life challenges and financial hardship. The fund is subsidized through the generous support of its fundraising programs and allocating the proceeds of exclusive limited-edition DIRT branded merchandise.

The DIRT Dad Fund distributed $7,429 in financial aid in 2022 and a total of $11,409 since inception!

In the summer of 2022, the fund partnered with Pedal Industries to create a DIRT Dad Fund Store.

Pedal Industries is a US-based cycling outfitter offering a wide range of custom-designed kit and accessories. Pedal Industries fabricates everything in its California-based factory, allowing a zero minimum order on every item (except socks and gloves) designed by its in-house team. Items ship to your door in 4 to 5 weeks, and the store never closes.

A significant portion of the sales goes directly to the DIRT Dad Fund, ensuring future stability, financial solvency, and a pathway to future legacy initiatives. Those plans include an annual DIRT Dad Fund Scholarship program which the committee will announce later this year.

The DIRT Dad Fund Scholarship Program

The DIRT Dad Fund will award two $1,000 scholarships to the daughter or son of an established DIRT Zwift Team member who plans to apply in the next calendar year to an accredited college, university, or technical school and embodies the spirit of “The DIRT Effect.”

Here's a look at The DIRT Dad Fund's impact on the virtual cycling community.

  • In May 2021, the fund helped the wife of DIRT Terrel Brown receive experimental ovarian cancer immunotherapy out of the country.
  • In June 2021, the fund contributed to the memorial fund to support the family of DIRT Steven Pieper, who passed away when a motorist struck and killed him while riding his bike.
  • In May 2022, the fund helped DIRT member Alex Johnson and his extraordinary son Zeke. Ezekiel was born with a rare congenital condition and required surgery to remove a mass in his lung.  
  • Also, in May 2022, the fund assisted Previvor MIRT Elise Mathieu in receiving diagnostic tests and preventative treatment to fight cancer proactively. 
  • Later that month, the fund assisted DIRT Kirk Hawks in paying for life-changing nerve graft surgery after a traumatic chainsaw accident.
  • In June 2022, when DIRT Johnathan Freter‘s medical bills mounted following the tragic loss of their unborn child while vacationing out of the country, the fund helped provide financial support.
  • In addition to sending countless Get Well care packages and Celebratory gifts to lift and enhance the community’s well-being!
DIRT Dad Fund Spring Collection
Click for the collection!

New for Spring 2023! The DIRT Dad Fund pb Pedal Industries design collection includes jerseys, bibs, tech tees, and signature Race Day bags!  A portion of the proceeds goes to fund our initiatives, like support to members needing a financial “Ride On!” and the soon-to-be-launched annual scholarship program! Harness the power of The DIRT Effect to help our own!

Joining The DIRT Dad Fund on the distinguished list of grant recipients are:

Club HackneyDedicated to promoting cycling and cycle sport for all levels and ages. They will utilize their microgrant by purchasing the equipment needed to allow their participants to participate in indoor cycling in a social setting. Learn more here!

ROC ERA—Enriches, empowers, and invests in at-risk youth through arts, fitness, and mentorship. Their microgrant will help ensure ROC members have the necessary equipment to participate in their programs. Learn more here!

Sportable—Creates opportunities by making sports accessible and inclusive for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Their microgrant will help break down the barriers to entry that virtual cycling entails for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Learn more here!

Team Africa Rising—Aims to advance cycling on the African continent. With their microgrant, Team Africa Rising will upgrade and expand internet access for riders to connect to Zwift. Learn more here!

Thank you to Zwift and the Community’s Generosity

The DIRT Dad fund committee extends its sincere gratitude to Zwift’s altruism and commends its continual commitment to the community. The fund promises to represent Zwift’s social impact pillars through selfless devotion to the betterment of the virtual cycling community and the DIRT family.

The microgrant will have a macro impact on the future. Thank you for helping The DIRT Dad Fund to Ride ON!

The DIRT Dad Fund committee wants your input!

How can we use the 20 complimentary Zwift accounts most effectively to further our mission and positively impact the virtual cycling community? Please leave your ideas below! Thank you.

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The DIRT Dad Fund

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