Founded in 2007, the Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation was created to better allocate and manage the funds raised from the legendary Tour de Shore Charity Bike Ride. Now known as The Ben to The Shore Bike Tour, the event 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 $1.25 million in 2021. This ride has become a summer staple in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey community.
Throughout the first 20 years of 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 and critically injured first responders and putting on programs that cultivate positive relationships and interactions between police officers and the children in the communities they serve.
In addition to 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 is a guest bartending event that brings together widows and families of fallen officers to raise money for the FOP Survivors Fund.
Since 2015, the FBBCF has spearheaded an original citywide initiative called the “Police Youth Alliance.” Aimed at cultivating positive relationships and interactions between police officers and the children in the communities they serve, PYA puts uniformed officers in local schools to engage in student-friendly activities 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.
The FBBCF is proud 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 $11 million for the children in our community. Every year, over 80% of all proceeds go directly to the families of fallen first responders and the Police Youth Alliance program.