Las Vegas – The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) today announced UFC® as the official title sponsor of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes, a group of four elite amateur athletes who will ride their bicycles more than 3,000 miles in the 34th Annual Race Across America (RAAM). The cross-country race, from California to Maryland, starts June 20.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of UFC and its commitment to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces,” said Winston Fisher, member of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes. “UFC’s donation will directly benefit veterans who were injured while serving our nation. Those who sacrificed for us motivate us on our journey, and we are proud to give back with the help of organizations like UFC.”

“UFC has long supported the men and women who have selflessly served and displayed the courage and dedication that embodies the best of our country,” UFC Vice President of Federation Relationships and Corporate Social Responsibility Lou Lauria said. “Partnering with Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes, as they embark on another successful race across America, is a great way to raise awareness and funding for the critically needed work they do in supporting those who serve.”

UFC’s support as title sponsor increases Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes’ total amount raised to more than $500,000. The team hopes to raise more than $650,000 to help build Intrepid Spirit Centers, diagnostic and treatment facilities that aid military heroes suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and psychological health conditions. The team incurs the entire cost of participating in RAAM, so 100% of UFC’s donation, and every donation to the team, goes directly towards building Intrepid Spirit Centers.

Competing on Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes are Winston Fisher, Partner with the Fisher Brothers real estate firm in New York; Evan “Chip” Marks, Co-Founder of Sungate Asset Management LLC; Brian Collins, Head of Development for Fisher Brothers; and Jessica Lynn Marino, an equity sales trader for Instinet. The team’s manager is Jimmy Riccitello, Global Head Referee for Ironman and XTERRA World Champion. Fisher, Marks, and Collins competed in the 2014 RAAM where Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes won the eight-person division, finishing the grueling race in less than six days and raising more than $650,000 for the IFHF.

UFC has sponsored numerous ‘Fight for the Troops’ events at bases across the country and are continuously conducting base tours, hospital visits, combative and interactive athlete / soldier training. UFC has also partnered to supply veteran’s organizations with tickets to UFC events, as well as host numerous autograph signings and athlete appearances annually.

Intrepid Spirit Centers are being funded and built by the IFHF through a $100 million fundraising campaign. Though the centers are being built exclusively through private donations, each facility is gifted to the United States Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion.  All centers will be located on military bases or veterans medical centers around the country.

Intrepid Spirit Centers have opened and are operational at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with centers currently under construction at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas. Four additional Intrepid Spirit Centers will be built, each of which will be 25,000 square feet and cost approximately $11 million to complete and equip with the latest in brain technology and devices.

RAAM begins in Oceanside, California and concludes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland. Racers have 12 days to complete the race, and the clock does not stop, even for sleeping. RAAM is considered to be among the world’s most respected and harshest endurance cycling events, and is nearly 50% longer than the Tour de France. In the team divisions, at least one rider must be on the road at all times in order for the team to advance.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is hosting a text-to-donate campaign to support Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes RAAM efforts. Text TROOPS to 27722 to donate $10 to support the team. Charges will appear on donors’ next wireless bill. All donations must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply.

Follow the team leading up to and during the RAAM on their website, Facebook, and Twitter, and using the hashtag #TeamIFHF.

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