Jimmie McMillian, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s senior corporate counsel, was looking for a creative way to kick start his company’s 2017 United Way fundraising effort. As an avid biker, Jimmie had an idea: what if he inspired his colleagues to give to United Way by riding his Harley-Davidson for 35 hours and 2,255 miles from the IMS to the Verizon IndyCar Series finale in Sonoma, California?
He expected his idea to be met with some apprehension, but was pleasantly surprised with how quickly his team jumped on board. In only a few short days, his ride evolved from an idea to a reality, and he couldn’t have been more excited.
“United Way and biking are both very near and dear to my heart. I think this ride creates a great synergy, bringing those things together to make a difference in our community,” said McMillian. “And I’m so grateful to have the full support of the IMS for this journey,” he added, moments before his adventure began on the famous Brickyard.
As a long-time volunteer and donor, McMillian has been an advocate for giving back through United Way for many years. Why? Because he has seen first-hand the opportunities it creates for people, especially the young people he mentors.
“I get messages all the time from mentees… I think people take for granted these programs that impact different people’s lives. And that was what I thought about as I was riding,” McMillian said upon his return. “I want every kid to have this opportunity.”
Now that Jimmie is back, he’s looking forward to seeing how much the IMS was able to raise. “Hopefully everyone kept their commitment of 100% leadership participation and we increase our gift. Those will be the biggest memories for me,” McMillian said.