Riding for a Renewed Cause: Ernst & Young Supports the Wonderfund’s First Year in the Rodman Ride for Kids

The Wonderfund, a newly launched charity serving children supported by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, on Saturday will celebrate its first year as a beneficiary of the Rodman Ride for Kids, with 35 riders from Ernst & Young LLP (EY) cycling up to 100 miles to support the Wonderfund.

EY began fielding riders to raise funds for the Wonderfund’s predecessor, the DCF Kids Fund, in 2010. The charity was relaunched as the Wonderfund this past June with support from Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, who serves as vice chair of the Wonderfund. Saturday will be EY’s first Rodman Ride supporting the charity in its new incarnation as the Wonderfund.

Overall, the 27th Annual Rodman Ride for Kids will have more than 1,000 riders seeking to raise $13,500,000 for 44 affiliated charities, including the Wonderfund. The Rodman Ride for Kids is America’s number-one single-day athletic fundraiser solely supporting at-risk kids and has raised $122 million since 1991.

“Everyone at EY has loved the chance to support children in the care of the DCF by participating in the Rodman Ride, and we are especially excited to be riding this year as the Wonderfund’s successful relaunch is boosting the visibility, funding, and impact of this important cause,’’ said EY Senior Manager of Tax Services Matthew Cioffari. “The Wonderfund provides tremendous extracurricular opportunities that these children might not otherwise receive and that can help them grow, gain confidence, and experience the moments of joy that all kids deserve to have.” EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services and has Massachusetts offices in Boston and Cambridge.

The Wonderfund, a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) federally tax-exempt charity, was formerly known as the DCF Kids Fund.  The Wonderfund has a vision to provide resources and opportunities above what state funding can do, for the more than 50,000 children engaged with DCF on any given day:

Emergency and transitional items: Children placed in DCF care, some with no more than the clothes on their backs, are given a duffel bag that contains clean, seasonally appropriate clothing, new pajamas, toiletries, and an age-appropriate item of comfort such as a teddy bear.

Enrichment opportunities: All children involved with DCF are eligible for funding from the Wonderfund to access enrichment activities like summer camp, arts & music lessons, sports, SAT preparation, or vocational training that can change the trajectory of their lives for the better.

Wonderfund Executive Director Jennifer Kitchenham said: “We are so grateful to the EY riders who will be pedaling 25, 50, or 100 miles to support our kids, and we wish them a safe, happy ride. We’ve also been so appreciative of all that the Rodman Ride for Kids has done for us as the DCF Kids Fund and now as the Wonderfund—not just the significant amount of money they’ve raised, but the way Rodman has truly become a partner for us. Rodman has helped us make so many connections with organizations where our kids can get enrichment opportunities and they even introduced us to a terrific firm that designed and built our WonderfundMa.org website, Getfused Inc. in Boston.’’

The Rodman Ride event includes 25-, 50- and 100-mile routes that all begin and end at 101 Washington Street in Foxborough. The umbrella matching-gift charity raises funds through corporate sponsors, foundations, individual donors, and riders, for youth focused social-service organizations that support at-risk children. The Ride adds a 3 percent match when affiliated charities meet their predetermined fundraising goal.