Founded in 2007, the Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation was created to better allocate and manage the funds raised from the legendary The Ben to The Shore Bike Tour. Established in 1988, The Ben to The Shore Bike Tour is a 65-mile bicycle ride from Philadelphia to Atlantic City. The bike ride started as part of the Ugly Bartender Contest - a national MS Society initiative - with 20 cyclists the first year and has grown to 2,500 riders, raising $1.1 million in 2018. This ride has become a summer staple in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey community.
Throughout the first 20 years of the The Ben to The Shore Bike Tour, money raised went to a variety of worthy causes in the community. In 2007, after several Philadelphia Police Officers were killed in the line of duty, the organization made a change in the focus of its funding by putting a greater emphasis on supporting families of our fallen officers. Today, the FBBCF focuses on supporting the families of fallen first responders and supporting the communities they serve in the greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area.
In addition to the The Ben to The Shore Bike Tour, the FBBCF hosts two other main events. Gathering of Heroes is a celebrity guest bartending event that raises money for the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation and Families Behind the Badge which brings together widows and families of our fallen officers to raise money for the FOP Survivors Fund.
Since 2015, the FBBCF has also spearheaded an original citywide initiative called the “Police Youth Alliance.” Aimed at bridging the gap between police officers and children in disadvantaged neighborhoods they patrol, the Police Youth Alliance is a collaboration with local schools to create programs taught by police officers in their corresponding districts, such as chess, step, reading, drumline and carpentry.
To maximize the support given to our first responders, the FBBCF provides an immediate grant of $5,000 directly to the families of first responders severely injured or killed in the line of duty. The FBBCF then works closely with other organizations that exist to continuously support these families such as: Philadelphia Police Survivors Fund, South Jersey FOP Lodge 56, Montgomery County Hero Fund and Bucks County Heroes Scholarship Fund.
It is the FBBCF’s honor to give back to the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey community and support the children of our fallen heroes. To date, the FBBCF has raised over $8.3 million for the children in our community. Every year, over 80% of all proceeds go directly to the Police Youth Alliance program, the families of fallen first responders and children charities in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area.