2021 Trans Am Fundraising for Sam’s Place

Doing these ridiculous ultra distance self supported races provides a great platform for raising money for worthy causes. In 2017 it was the Movember foundation and this time around it is Sam’s Place.

Introducing Sam’s Place….


Artists impression of Sam’s Place

Samuel Ozer graduated from AIM Academy, an independent co-educational college prep school serving students with language-based learning differences, in June last year. It is a school about 5 miles from my front door and as it is located on the Schuylkill River trail, a popular running and cycling trail I ride directly past the school many times a week.

Sam had grown from a shy second grader unable to match sounds to letters to a leader among his peers, turning a learning difference into an asset and developing a passion for engineering and bicycles through AIM’s innovative programming. Sam had been accepted to every college he applied to and was preparing for the next stage of his life as an engineering student at the University of Vermont by working at Trek Bikes of Manyunk assembling and repairing bikes.

On Father’s Day 2020, as he rode his beloved fixed gear bike home from his summer dream job, Sam was struck and killed by a driver on Henry Avenue, less than a mile from his home.

AIM Academy has committed to building Sam’s Place to honor Sam’s memory and help the community heal from this devastating, tragic loss. Sam’s Place will be a hub where students, especially those with learning differences, will develop a passion for cycling and equip themselves with the attitudes and skills needed to go forth into the world as Sam did: confident, prepared, and enthusiastic. A generous gift from Trek Bikes will enable AIM Academy to outfit Sam’s Place as a bicycle repair school where young people will learn from mentor peers, parents, and teachers through trying, tinkering, and safely failing. It will be a facility that will not only be available to students of AIM Academy but also the greater Philadelphia cycling community.

I first heard about Sam’s Place via my cycling coach Deborah Leedale-Brown who was also a coach on Sam’s mountain biking team. I read more about Sam and was just so incredibly touched by his story. He was a young man who knew what he wanted. He had found his passion. Not many people ever find it and then pursue it but Sam was doing just that as a very young man.

If there is one thing that the world is in dire need of it is more people that are living their life with passion.

We need more Samuel Ozer’s.

I see Sam’s Place as the perfect place to honor his memory and inspire future generation’s of cyclists. I have been generously welcomed into the fundraising team by Sam’s parents Sid and Mindy and the AIM Academy community. The school has provided me with a dedicated page from which to raise money which can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The cost of the Sam’s Place project is $250k of which $190k has already been raised. The greater goal is to raise the balance by the end of June 2021 of which I would love to assist with raising at least $6,800 which represents $1 for each kilometer of the race.

Please donate if you can:


Philadelphia Inquirer articles: https://www.inquirer.com/obituaries/sam-ozer-philadelphia-bicyclist-died-aim-academy-obitutary-obituaries-20200623.html

6abc TV spot (this may only be viewable in the US):

Artists impression of Sam’s Place: https://resources.finalsite.net/videos/t_video_vp9_480/v1617901978/manayunk/pla8uurt6fk7pnzuu1mq/samsplacevideo.webm


Again, any donation of any size is gratefully accepted. You can access the AIM Academy donation page by clicking HERE.


1 Comment
  • Vicki Strid
    Posted at 19:02h, 24 July Reply

    Congratulations Mark. I am in awe of, and grateful for, people like you. People who help make things happen rather than watch things happen. Glenda (my sister) told me of your endeavour and I have made a small spectator donation. Your actions don’t just raise money but help people think about being more proactive in support of community. Well done Mark.

Post A Comment