Daily, we are consumed with posts on social media. But this particular post made such a huge impact on a sport and several families!
Recently, a motocross family wanted to offer their son’s used Cobra 50cc motorcycle to a family either new to the sport or needing to move up to a better bike. They made a simple post on Facebook. Moments later, MX Zen Marketing’s founder, Erika Born, saw the post and shared it. She was so inspired that a family would “pay it forward” that she decided to create a Facebook live video to help them gain more attention from the vast motocross community who follows her and her new movement, MX Zen. Erika founded MX Zen with the hopes that she could make a positive, uplifting, healthier “vibe” in the motocross community and truly appreciated seeing that a family in the sport was doing this act of kindness. Soon after her video went viral, the post was shared and interest grew! This story has developed to be one of the most extraordinary acts of kindness seen in the motocross community in a while!
Lacy and Wil Willis of Carlsbad, New Mexico knew that when the day arrived when their son outgrew his motorcycle, they would want to give it to a kid in need as a way to help offer their love for the sport to inspire another family. Last year, the Willis family was on the receiving end of the beginning of this pay it forward story. Their son, Jake, who is 7-years old and a 2nd grader at Riverside Elementary was seen trying to race on his Honda 50cc, which was older and slower than the faster Cobra 50cc dirt bikes. A family observed Jake out on the track struggling but they recognized his talent and determination. Oscar and Christina Maldonado approached the Willis family and offered their son’s Cobra 50cc to Jake. Wil and Lacy were so moved by this act of kindness and could hardly believe a family would be so generous. Jake began racing the Cobra 50cc bike and soon became an accomplished and talented rider.
When Jake was ready to change to a newer bike, Wil and Lacy knew exactly what they wanted to do with his Cobra motorcycle. They wanted this act of kindness to come full circle. But what happened next, they were not prepared for.
Their post on Facebook shared that they wanted to hold a drawing for kids to enter from anywhere across the nation who might want or need a Cobra 50cc to either be introduced to motocross or to advance to a faster bike, similar to the opportunity Jake had with the gracious giving of the Maldonado family. Lacy Willis tagged a MX Zen volunteer. The volunteer brought the story to the attention of MX Zen creator and founder, Erika Born. Erika is the motocross mom of Kyle Born, who also races a Cobra 50cc bike and is a national champion in his age group. Erika saw the post and wanted to help spread the word so the Willis family could find that deserving family and Erika’s post was seen by her vast network within the community of motocross.
Moments later, Justin and Laura Evans from Northeast Texas saw the posts on Facebook and picked up the phone and called Erika. They were so inspired by the Willis family that they decided to donate their son’s Factory Cobra 50! Kace Evans won Loretta Lynn’s on this Cobra, given to him by the Cobra factory, last year. Winning or even placing in the top 10 at Loretta Lynn’s is any amateur motocross racers dream! Kace is a very talented and dedicated racer, supported by an amazing family. Erika, a motocross mom passionate about marketing and social media, wanted to make sure these random acts of kindness spread throughout her motocross circles, so she created a live video asking everyone who knew of a kid or family in need to submit a name and help connect these bikes with the right families. Her video went viral!
“I posted on Facebook that we had a motorcycle to give away and asked everyone to share. Some thought it was a hoax, since who really just gives a stranger a motorcycle?” said Lacy Willis. “We really wanted the bike to go to someone who would use it and really needed it.”
Allegan Motorsports, who sponsors Erika’s son and a team of riders, including Kace Evans, heard of the story. They sent Erika a message that they wanted to offer a free maintenance package to the winner of the Willis motorcycle. Madden Motorsports, a local Cobra dealer in Northeast Texas who sponsors a team of awesome riders, also saw the posts. They offered a free set of bike graphics to the winner of the Willis motorcycle. But it didn’t’ stop there. The owners of A1 Racing Suspension posted that they would offer a free suspension for this bike!
The motocross community became glued to their screen as this contest unfolded! Lacy and Wil Willis had Jake put all of the names submitted into a hat and sit on the motorcycle as he picked the lucky winner!
One particular family in California saw the post and decided to not only share it, but to nominate a kid they knew was most deserving. Whitney Smith, mom of a young motocrosser in Southern CA, Mason, tagged a family in the post that she had helped the previous week. She had loaned her son Mason’s motorcycle to a kid who had been flown to CA from LA to attend a camp called Camp Edge. Camp Edge Director Richard Kutbach organized a fun camp and asked several motocross celebrities and pros to come help him. Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg reposted an ad for the camp and a family in LA saw it. They submitted their son’s name for the drawing to win free entry into the camp, worth $500. Richard Kutbach was impressed by the fact that this family in LA wanted their son to win a spot in the camp, yet didn’t quite have the experience on a bike as the other kids. He recognized that this aspiring rider deserved a spot on the camp roster and offered a place if the family could fly the rider to CA. Since the Mom and Dad were busy with work and other obligations, an uncle flew to CA with the winner of the contest, but without a bike!
Thankfully Richard found the Smith family.
Motocross professional riders, Axell Hodges, Andy Bakken, and Broc Tickle, who dedicated their time, talent, and patience with an incredible group of up and coming riders, led Camp Edge. Richard said, “Aiden wasn’t as advanced as some of the other riders so I had some of the pros spend some one on one time with him on the smaller track on the bike that was loaned from Whitney Smith and her son Mason. A few days after the camp, Whitney messaged me about a bike give-away that she had entered Aiden in. The next day, I learned that Aiden won!”
The lucky name of the Willis family Cobra 50cc raffle was Aiden Barbier, of Erwinville, Louisiana. Aiden is a 2nd grader at Chamberlain Elementary.
Donald Barbier, Aiden’s uncle, flew with Aiden to California and spent the next few days watching Aiden’s love for motocross at Camp Edge develop and grow.
Aiden developed a love for motorcycles after his older brother, Daniel, expressed interest in riding. Although his older brother didn’t quite have the passion for the sport needed to race, Aiden did. He just needed a bike that he could compete on in order to achieve the goals he desired. Goals any 7-year-old boy wants – to complete the race, conquer the track, see the checkered flag, and earn a spot on the podium! Erika Born hopes every kid who rides a motorcycle can experience this feeling of actualizing their dreams at some point in his or her motocross journey.
“The first time Aiden ever laid eyes on a dirt bike up close at age 2 1/2 we knew from that moment he was going to love it. He was so excited that he jumped up and down! He couldn’t wait to be big enough to ride by himself. He started riding at about age 4. He was just recently diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome about 6-7 months ago. Riding dirt bikes is his therapy and his comfort zone. When he rides, he doesn’t have tics, it’s just him and his dirt bike,” states his Mom, Jennifer.
Erika Born, who is an accomplished marketing and social media expert as well as youth motorsports advocate and supporter, decided to give both Jake Willis and Aiden Barbier a free membership to her soon-to-be-launched MX Zen Marketing Academy. The membership includes instruction by Erika herself on how the families can create and maintain a thriving social media account needed to help raise the riders score on a popular website and app called Hook It, as well as a mini resume on the free Team App, MX Zen, to attract potential sponsors in the motocross industry looking to find a young deserving and appreciative athlete to support and sponsor. Between rising up the charts on Hook It and grabbing the attention of sponsors on the app, Erika aspires to connect the athletes and the motocross industry to help fund the families in need and add support behind amateur athletes who are often overlooked in this sport. Erika teaches everything she has learned to help promote her son Kyle Born and has already proven to have great success with the riders who have signed on during the pre-launch period.
After her membership site goes live, the price of joining MX Zen will go up, as she provides the Academy with much needed lesson plans, adds sponsors to their discount list, and exposes the families to greater opportunities out there such as crowd funding, experts on health, fitness, and sports psychology! In addition to all of these phenomenal benefits, it connects members to a community of compassionately dedicated parents who are interested in promoting and supporting each member of the Academy as if they are their own children.
Sponsors recognize that Erika’s knowledge, experience and conviction are huge assets to the future of the sport and are interested in partnering with the MX Zen Academy Riders for a great return on their investment. With Erika’s teachings, each MX Zen Academy member has the potential to be a well-rounded, healthy and creditable athlete that any company would be interested in sponsoring and supporting to help them gain product recognition, branding, and representation in the sport of motocross.
To follow and check out the current MX Zen Marketing Academy riders, including Jake and Aiden, join the free app . Their rider profiles will give you the link to their social media accounts for you to show them your support by following them!
We also have sponsorship and advertising opportunities to help your company expand their reach in the motocross community. The MX Zen Marketing Academy Members are a dynamic team of riders, of all ages and ages, from all over the globe who are being taught how to promote their sponsors and show appreciation.
If you have experienced a random act of kindness or pay it forward occurrence in the motocross community, please share your story with us! Post on our Facebook page! We would love to hear from you! You can join our curated newsletter here or join us for the next Live Webinar and learn even more in depth news on what makes MX Zen the hottest, newest, most connected network in amateur motocross!
#JuniperTanksLLC #BlackRiverTrucking #OneFiftys #CetaneEnergy #MarksTankRentals #VenomOilandGas #SPY #scottUSA #WORXGLOVES #ONEPOINTSEVENCLEANINGSOLUTIONS #JTRACING #DECALWORKS #ONEAL #EVS #mxzen #DesertCobra #motocrossvest
(Offered to help with Evans Bike) #alleganmotorsports, #maddenmotorsports, #A1RacingSuspension
Much love and respect ~
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa