What do an auto dealership, a prominent local Native American tribe, a medical group and the charitable arm of a locally-based supermarket chain have in common?

They are the major sponsors along with the cities of Redlands and Highland of the Redlands Bicycle Classic which will conduct its 38th renewal on April 10-14.

Downtown Redlands Start Line

All four are firmly committed not only to conduct business in Redlands and other area communities but have demonstrated a commitment to contribute to society by volunteering, supporting and donating time, talent and treasure to area non-profits.


This is the 12th year that San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has served as presenting sponsor of the five-day event.

“Being a presenting sponsor reaffirms (our) commitment to our region as we work together to build a stronger community,” said a spokesperson for the tribe. “Our partnership has allowed for the expansion of the event from three days to five.”

The tribe has been a fixture in the foothills of Highland since 1891 although its ancestors were present throughout the valley and mountain areas for hundreds of years.

With the introduction of tribal gaming in the 1980s, the tribe has grown its business into what today is the Yaamava’ Resorts and Casino.

“San Manuel is not simply a sponsor of the Classic, they are our partner,” said Marc Shaw, executive director of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. “We value San Manuel’s support. We look forward to working together to make our communities thrive for years to come.”


In 1937, when Stater Bros. Markets opened its second store, it chose the City of Redlands for the location. Now, with nearly 170 stores and 18,000 employees, Stater Bros. has remained a loyal supporter of the Southern California community.

Since its inception in 2008, Stater Bros. Charities, the non-profit arm of Stater Bros. Markets, has continued that tradition of support, strengthening its local communities by investing in local organizations and causes with a focus on hunger relief, children’s well-being, education, health, help for veterans and active service members, and pet well-being.

“Stater Bros. Charities proudly supports the Redlands Bicycle Classic and the city’s efforts to create a healthier community by encouraging residents and visitors to bike more frequently,” said Stater Bros. Charities Chairman and President Nancy Negrette.

“In sponsoring the youth races and School Duel (April 13), we hope to fulfill our shared mission of promoting children’s well-being by inspiring youths to develop healthy habits at an early age,” she added.

Redlands Bicycle Classic San Manuel Start Line


Toyota of Redlands, in the city since 1983, has been a generous contributor to local events sponsored by non-profits for years.

The Bicycle Classic benefits from the dealership because it provides cars for VIPs and more than 20 other vehicles for use by race officials during the various stages of road racing that take place each year.

Dealership president and general manager Paul Smith leads by example when it comes to volunteering his time in the community. He has been a reserve police officer at Redlands Police Department since the 1990s, donating an average of 500 hours per year to the agency.

In 2014, Smith was named the California Reserve Peace Officer of the Year by the CRPOA. He was the department’s reserve officer of the year in 2013, 2014 and 2017. He was also the City of Redlands Public Safety Volunteer of the Year in 2013.

“Toyota of Redlands is active all year round in community events, charity, and sponsorships,” said Smith.

The dealership was initially located at 1139 W. Redlands Blvd., but moved to its current location at 921 New York St., in 2008. It has 119 employees and has won Toyota Motor North America awards for sales and service for several years.

Toyota of Redlands


The newest major sponsor is a former sponsor of the Bicycle Classic. Arrowhead Orthopaedics, which was founded in Redlands in 1989 and is celebrating its 35th year serving Redlands as well as offering clinics in San Bernardino, Riverside (two sites), Palm Desert, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino Hills, Lake Arrowhead, Beaumont, Murrieta and Victorville.

“Our mission is to provide for those in need of our superior sub-specialty orthopaedic care in a pleasant and family atmosphere,” said Lorie Byars, chief operating officer for the group, headquartered at 1901 W. Lugonia Ave., Redlands.

Arrowhead Orthopaedics is sponsoring the Criteriums for women and men on Saturday afternoon (April 13) in downtown Redlands.

Byars, a past president of the Associates of Redlands Bowl, which promotes the bowl’s annual Summer Music Festival and other related activities, said the doctors, therapists and other staff are involved with many local non-profits.

“We will have 30 or so volunteers participating in our booth (at Vendor Village) or in the racing events in general,” Byars said. “Three of our doctors are actually participating in a riding event including Dr. James Makito. We have a lot of avid bikers among our employees.”

Byars said the majority of Arrowhead employees live in the Redlands area. “We deeply care about children and adults,” she said.

Young He Wong, wife of staff member Dr. Andrew Wong, assists with marketing the clinics to the public. “She and her husband have created a non-profit that helps children,” Byars said.

Arrowhead Orthopaedics

For more information about the Redlands Bicycle Classic: www.redlandsclassic.com.