Oppy Sponsors Race Across America Cycling Squad

CHINO HILLS, Calif. — Long known for moving fresh produce around the world swiftly and safely on vessels, trucks and planes, Oppy is now helping one of its own travel across the United States — on a bicycle.

Executive Director of Marketing Karin Gardner is a member of Love, Sweat & Gears, a four-woman squad participating in the 2022 Race Across America, which rolls out from Oceanside, California on June 18. Spanning more than 3,000 miles across a dozen states, the event is billed as the world’s toughest cycling race. The team is racing to raise awareness and funds for Gaia Home, a new non-profit in Gardner’s home state of North Dakota which brings a compassionate new approach to end-of-life care.

“Oppy’s generous sponsorship means the world to our team, but especially to me personally, of course,” Gardner said. “If all goes well during the race, we’ll cross the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland within a few days of my 30th anniversary at Oppy. The company has invested in my personal and professional growth over these many years, and its participation in our Race Across America bid has gone straight to the heart of one of the largest challenges in my life. We’re very proud to wear the Oppy brand prominently as we ride across the country.”

The Love, Sweat & Gears relay team also includes renowned North Dakota endurance athletes Melanie Carvell, Lori Klabunde, and Kilee Harmon, Gaia Home’s executive director. The racers will be escorted across the country by a stalwart support crew of 14 friends and relatives, including Gardner’s sister, Kim Ellis, who has trained as the team’s alternate, and crew chief husband Mike Gardner.

“Good nutrition for the racers and crew will be critical to our success,” Gardner said. “A steady regimen of fresh fruits and vegetables is absolutely essential. While planning the meals for the group, we are assuring a wide assortment of fresh produce is available to everyone to help keep energy up and spirits high.”

The team will ride non-stop through the day and night, climbing more than 175,000 feet over the Sierra, Rocky, and Appalachian mountain ranges; crossing the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers and the Great Plains, and passing through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts and Monument Valley. 

“We hope to complete the race in a week or less, though that will take a great deal of luck and probably a tailwind through Kansas,” Gardner said. “We are enormously blessed by the friends and businesses who have stepped up to support us on this adventure and share our belief in the uniquely worthy cause of Gaia Home.”

For those facing the final season of life, in-home hospice care is a desirable option, but is not always feasible as it does not provide for housing or round the clock caregiving, so these responsibilities fall on family and friends.

“A neighborhood of residential units and community spaces, staffed with 24-hour qualified medical care specializing in the end-of-life journey, Gaia Home takes the difficult caregiver role off of families’ shoulders, and provides them and their loved one with adequate space to live together in privacy and peace, giving them the chance to treasure their precious time together, allowing for a beautiful final passage,” Harmon said.

Proceeds raised through Love, Sweat & Gears’ fundraising and racing efforts will be donated to Gaia Home. You can learn more and support the team by clicking here: thegaiahome.org

About Oppy

Growing, marketing and distributing fresh produce from around the globe for more than 160 years, Vancouver, BC-based Oppy discovers and delivers the best of the world’s harvest. With over 50 million boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables grown on every continent moving through its supply chain annually, Oppy offers popular favorites from avocados and berries to apples and oranges year-round, alongside innovative seasonal specialties. Over the years, Oppy has introduced North Americans to a number of items across its diverse produce range, including Granny Smith, JAZZ and Envy apples, as well as green and gold kiwifruit. Go to oppy.com to learn more.

About Love, Sweat & Gears

Love, Sweat & Gears is both a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a bicycling team competing in endurance and recreational events across the country. We have been proud to support many charitable organizations over the years. For 2022 we have five amazing athletes out to conquer Race Across America in support of Gaia Home. 

Love, Sweat & Gears thanks sponsors 701 Cycle & Sport, Bismarck Heating & Air, Frontier Precision, Oppy, The Rockstad Foundation, The Pain Treatment Center Anesthesiologists, KX News, Northern Lights Physical Therapy, The Bone and Joint Center, Mid Dakota Clinic, Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, Marathon Petroleum, Mattress Firm, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Credo Graphics, Mighty Missouri Coffee Company, and Darryl and Janet Dobogai of The Dobogai Club.

About Gaia Home

Rooted in kindness, the mission of Gaia Home is to bring comfort, compassion, and dignity to all persons and their loved ones, as we nurture the human spirit through the end-of-life journey.

A neighborhood of residential units and community spaces, Gaia Home will be one of the first dedicated homes of its kind in the state with qualified medical care specializing in the end-of-life journey. It will provide families and their loved ones with adequate space to live in, gather, connect, reminisce, and rest in privacy and peace, giving them the chance to truly treasure their precious time together during the final season of life.