As winners of last year’s Blue Shield We Shield Moms (formerly known as Moms on a Mission) Contest, Stephanie and Beth went on to create Trike 41, an awe-inspiring fundraising event where toddlers rally support for other kids’ fight against cancer.

We’re teaming up with Blue Shield of California to celebrate local Los Angeles moms who have inspired us to seek healthy, balanced lives.  First up:  Stephanie Grabske and Beth Gerhart of OC Mommies—the social network for new moms in Orange County.

Red Tricycle:  You’re part of a group of moms that are on a serious mission.  What’s yours?
Stephanie and Beth:   Our 2012 mission was establishing Trike 41—a tricycle event and rally of support for kids fighting cancer.

RT:  Love the name – and the idea!  What was your inspiration to start Trike 41?
S&B: The pediatric cancer statistics are alarming with more than 41 children diagnosed with cancer each day. Our group of moms and kids were inspired by a young girl in our community, Jessie Rees, who while fighting her own battle with cancer, focused on spreading hope, joy and love to other kids fighting cancer. The fundraising efforts from Trike 41 benefited her foundation, the Jessie Rees Foundation.

RT:  So Trike 41 was for the kids and by the kids, right? How did you involve them?
S&B: Yes! In the weeks leading up to the event, Orange County toddlers accepted donations for sponsorship in their participation in Trike 41. At the close of the event, 100 OC toddlers had raised over $10,000 for the Foundation. The funds went to create holiday JoyJars—a Jar of Joy (toys and games) created by the Jessie Rees Foundation’s Joy Factory— to give to kids fighting cancer.

RT:  With so many kids participating, any kid in particular say something funny or meaningful?
S&B: The kids had a blast the whole time. One child asked if they could put their own toys in the JoyJars to help make kids feel better.

Be Like Stephanie and Beth!  Blue Shield of California’s Wellness Challenge:
It doesn’t matter how big or small your service project is–you can make a big difference in your community.  So get the kids involved and allow them the opportunity to give back. Little people can do big things.  Be creative and have fun with it!

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Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield of California.