February 22, 2005 — Sea Otter Classic, LLC announced today the development of a philanthropic arm, the Cypress Youth Fund. The Fund focuses on distributing funds to organizations that benefit their communities in the areas of Youth, Sports, Education, and Environment.
“The mission of the Sea Otter Classic is to make peoples lives better through participation in sport and recreation, and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle”, says Frank Yohannan, President and CEO of Sea Otter Classic, LLC. Sea Otter Classic currently hosts two cycling festivals: the Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California, April 14-17, 2005 and the Cougar Mountain Classic, Sonoma, California, September 9-11, 2005.
The Fund’s immediate focus is to combat childhood obesity. According to recent findings published in the New York Times, over 11% of children ages 6 to 11 were overweight. This percentage is nearly double from a decade earlier. The silent epidemic of childhood obesity is both a public health problem and an issue of personal responsibility. Once dismissed by the medical profession as a purely cosmetic problem, obesity now represents an ominous health threat for children and is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death.
Research indicates that the majority of children who are overweight become obese adults. “If we can inspire children at a young age to embrace an active lifestyle and form good eating habits, just maybe the tragedy of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other potentially fatal conditions can be avoided or significantly reduced,” says Yohannan. “Cycling in particular can be enjoyed as a lifelong activity that supports a healthy lifestyle. It’s the perfect sport for children — of all ages!”