Norte Youth Cycling group’s Executive Director Ty Schmidt has quit his part-time physical therapy position at Munson Medical Center after winning a three-year, $50,000-per-year grant from the Grand Tranverse Regional Community Foundation, in order to help fulfill Norte’s future plans.
The Community Foundation is working on health and wellness initiatives aimed at a healthier region, an idea shared by Norte and Schmidt, said Phil Ellis, executive director of the foundation.
The grant, funded by a small group of donors through the foundation, will allow Norte and Schmidt the chance to make the nonprofit sustainable.
Norte started three years ago as a way to get kids to bike to Eastern Elementary School but has since grown to other elementary and middle schools throughout Traverse City. Schmidt saw long drop-off car lines at schools and not many kids walking or biking and opting for screen or couch time — including his own kids — and wanted to make a change.
Schmidt has a five-year goal of possibly bringing Norte, or a replication of the group, to communities in the five-county region.