NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robin Williams' family has launched an auction today featuring a vast collection of bicycles owned and ridden by the late actor to benefit two nonprofits dedicated to serving individuals living with physical disabilities: the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The auction is being hosted on Paddle8.com, the premier online collecting destination, from Oct. 13-25.
An avid cyclist, Williams was beloved by the cycling community and collected a number of high-end and custom bicycles. A selection of 87 bicycles from his personal collection are being sold in support of CAF and the Reeve Foundation, including a Dario Pegoretti Responsorium and Love #3, Serotta Ottrott, Trek Madone 7 Diamonds and a Zipp racing bike. The auction can be viewed at paddle8.com/robinwilliams.
As well-known for his philanthropy as he was for his acting, Williams was devoted to a number of charitable causes and served as an ambassador to CAF and the Reeve Foundation to raise awareness for the millions of Americans living with disabilities. As a result of his fierce dedication, both organizations have advanced their shared mission of helping individuals living with physical challenges achieve improved health and quality of life, while promoting greater inclusion and independence.
Williams' children, Zak, Zelda and Cody, are continuing their father's philanthropic legacy through their ongoing commitment to CAF and the Reeve Foundation. The auction on Paddle8 will raise critical funds for both organizations and further support the communities they serve.
From Robin's children
"Though bright, skin-tight spandex still remains one of the more embarrassing outfits to regularly witness your Dad wearing growing up, the sport of biking and the people Dad helped through his love of it will always hold a special place in the hearts of our family. Causes like the Reeve Foundation, championed by his longtime friends Chris and Dana Reeve, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, in whose triathlons he often biked, were both deeply important to him and we're honored to be able to continue to support them both in Dad's name.
We hope these bikes will bring their new owners as much joy as riding them, and helping these causes, always brought him. And though not required, may we suggest wearing the loudest, most vibrant and brightly-patterned, skintight biking gear possible when riding them?
Keep the tradition alive."
Robin's Relationship with the Challenged Athletes Foundation
Robin Williams was instrumental in the growth of CAF's mission to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
Williams and his family were fixtures at CAF events, including the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC). Robin was an 11-time participant in the SDTC, where able-bodied individuals and challenged athletes compete side-by-side to display the power of the human spirit. At the triathlon, Robin participated as the cyclist on Team Braveheart. His teammates included Scott Tinley, two-time Ironman World Champion and Hall of Fame inductee, and Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a double amputee and two-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer. In addition, Robin was an enthusiastic participant in the CAF 3-day NorCal Back to Back Cycling Challenge and came out annually to share words of encouragement with riders at CAF's Million Dollar Challenge, a week-long 620-mile bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego.
In March 2015, the organization hosted A Celebration of Will, a CAF gala to honor the legacy of Robin Williams that raised over $2 million dollars for the Challenged Athletes Foundation Endowment in Memory of Robin Williams.
"When Robin participated at events for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, he would always say, 'It's like coming back to family,'" said Jeffrey Essakow, Chairman of the Board, Challenged Athletes Foundation. "Robin was family and served as a beacon of hope for athletes with physical challenges. He showed the world that the power of humor and kindness can make a tangible difference. We are honored to join the Reeve Foundation and recognize Robin through this auction."
Robin's Relationship with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Robin Williams was equally as influential in advancing the Reeve Foundation mission to cure spinal cord injury and improve the quality of life for all individuals living with paralysis. With the Williams family's steadfast support, the Reeve Foundation has invested over $122 million to speed the development of treatments for spinal cord injury and realize Christopher Reeve's dream of a world of empty wheelchairs. Williams also championed Dana Reeve's vision to enhance quality of life through the Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center, a constellation of services to serve families impacted by paralysis.
Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams met in 1973 as roommates at the Julliard School and became lifelong friends. After Reeve sustained a spinal cord injury, Robin joined the Reeve Foundation Board of Directors and continued to support the organization following Reeve's passing in 2004.
The Reeve Foundation honored Williams in 1998 with the inaugural "Human Spirit Award" and recognized him again in 2007 for his tremendous impact. His family continues to remain active and involved by participating in events, including the Foundation's gala, A Magical Evening.
"Like Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams was an unmovable force. To have them in the same room, let alone fighting for the same cause, was extraordinary," said Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "Robin provided unending support without fanfare or question, and became a powerful voice for the 5.6 million Americans living with paralysis. Thanks to his efforts and the generous contributions of his family, cures for spinal cord injury are now within reach. Being part of this auction with Challenged Athletes Foundation is a beautiful way to honor his legacy of giving."
About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $76 million has been raised and over 13,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF's outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it's a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF's mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Since 1982, the Reeve Foundation has invested more than $122 million to accelerate spinal cord research and awarded over $20 million through the Foundation's Quality of Life Grants Program. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.
About Auctionata | Paddle8
Auctionata | Paddle8 is the global online leader in art and luxury collectibles. Through innovative livestream auction formats, charity auctions, private sales, and a curated online shop, the recently merged platforms offer a seamless online process to sell and purchase art, design, classic cars, watches, jewelry, wine and real estate. With 800,000 collectors, Auctionata | Paddle8 is one of the ten biggest auction houses worldwide outside of China. The company has offices in Berlin, New York, London, Los Angeles, Rome, Zurich, and Madrid and is thus represented in the most important international markets.
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SOURCE Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation