Race Across America Cyclist Len Forkas and Crew Turn to the Earth Networks - WeatherBug Meteorological Operations Team, WeatherBug Mobile Apps and StreamerRT for Safety and Strategy
Reston, Virginia - June 12, 2012 - Hopecam, a non-profit that connects homebound children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses to their friends at school, announced today that Earth NetworksSM, the company behind the popular WeatherBug® brand, is providing in-kind support to Len Forkas and his crew on the Race Across America (RAAM).
The Race Across America, a 3,000 mile bike race from San Diego, California to Annapolis, Maryland in 12 days, is known as the “world’s toughest bicycle race.” The race is one third longer than the Tour de France and must be completed in half the time. Hopecam founder, Len Forkas is riding as a solo racer in RAAM for the first time to raise awareness and financial support for the non-profit.
“The team and I have put in a lot of hours of practice and training to minimize unknown risks and increase our chances of finishing the race,” said Forkas. “Getting neighborhood-level information on weather, wind conditions, and severe weather alerts can help us to make smarter, safer decisions about when to press on and when to break.”
WeatherBug is a brand of Germantown, Maryland-headquartered Earth Networks, which manages and operates the largest global weather network and provides consumer and professional products and services. The company is supporting the Hopecam race team with:
24/7 support from the Earth Networks - WeatherBug Meteorological Operations Team.
WeatherBug for iPhone for weather updates and real-time alerts for extreme weather.
StreamerRT, a web-based weather visualization and alerting tool used by first responders and professionals in industries including energy, agriculture, and recreation.
During the race, the Earth Networks Meteorological Operations Team will also provide Len’s crew with detailed forecasts covering the anticipated weather threats for the coming day. The team will also be available by phone around-the-clock as changing weather conditions warrant.
“Len and the Hopecam team are applying our forecasting capabilities and tools in a unique way and for a great cause,” said Mark Hoekzema, Chief Meteorologist at Earth Networks. “We are happy to be supporting a local non-profit organization working with children and schools.”
Hopecam provides free laptops, web cameras and high speed internet access for children who are isolated at home or hospitalized during long-term illnesses. By enabling children to see and speak with their friends, Hopecam supports children’s social and psychological well-being while they’re fighting a physical battle, and significantly reduces the stress of re–entry to school when treatment is completed. Hopecam has helped over 225 children since its founding, and is currently providing support to 74 children.
The Race Across America begins on Wednesday, June 13. Follow Len and his “Race for Hope” on the organization’s website at http://www.hopecam.org/race-for-hope, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lensraceforhopecam and on Twitter @hopecam.
About Earth NetworksSM
As a provider of comprehensive atmospheric data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks is Taking the Pulse of the Planet with the world’s largest weather observation, lightning detection, and greenhouse gas monitoring networks and is establishing a network for collecting data within the planetary boundary layer. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps for major smartphone platforms provide real-time neighborhood-level weather and advanced severe weather alerts to millions of consumers. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations and markets, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Founded in 1993, Earth Networks (http://www.earthnetworks.com) is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with additional locations in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.
Hopecam connects homebound children undergoing treatment for cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses with their friends at school using laptops, high speed internet connections and web cameras. Recognizing the critical need for socialization, Hopecam seeks to bridge the lonely divide between homebound children and their friends at school during this frightening time. Staying connected to school significantly reduces the stress of re–entry when treatment is completed and children resume a normal life. Since its founding in 2003 by a parent whose child was diagnosed with leukemia, Hopecam has connected over 225 children with their friends, classmates and families. For more information, visit http://www.hopecam.org