Northwest Fire Veloís monumental fundraising events and the vision to ride started with a Central Washington native, US Marine Corps, Sgt. Ret. Nick Kimmel, his father Rick and a family friend and founding Board Member, Rich Smith of the Bellevue Fire Department. Nick, who is one of the most severely wounded heroes and a recipient of an adapted smart home from the R.I.S.E. program wanted to give back to the Gary Sinise Foundation for the amazing support in regaining his independence. Thus creating Fire Fighters Ride for RISE (FFR4R).
In 2017, six firefighters came together to ride as FFR4R from Seattle to Los Angeles. The success of this inaugural firefighter ride created the dream of a nonprofit firefighter cycling club known as Northwest Fire Velo. Since 2017, the Gary Sinise Foundationís RISE Program has received over $70,000 from FFR4R and Northwest Fire Velo.
Gary Sinise started helping veterans like Nick soon after his role as Lieutenant Dan in the award-winning movie Forrest Gump. After the horrific attacks of September 11th 2001, he created his own foundation to help our nationís most severely wounded veterans and first responders. His R.I.S.E. program was developed to build specially adaptive smart homes, vehicles and mobility devices for these brave defenders.