BURLINGTON, Vt. — On Saturday, Sept. 10, more than 700 bicyclists and handcyclists are expected to roll in the sixth annual Kelly Brush Century Ride in Middlebury, Vt.
In just six years, the scenic bicycle ride through the Champlain Valley has evolved from a dozen cyclists to the largest fundraising ride in the state. Last year’s ride drew 675 riders and raised $275,000 for spinal cord injury (SCI) prevention and adaptive sports equipment grants.
“We have been amazed by the support the Kelly Brush Foundation has received from cyclists throughout the region,” said Charlie Brush, Kelly Brush Foundation president. “As the ride grows, the foundation is able to advance its mission both by helping people face the challenges of paralysis through the love of sport and by raising awareness about and improving ski racing safety.”
The Kelly Brush Century Ride is also one of the best attended events in the Northeast for adaptive athletes using hand-cranked handcycles. Last year 23 participants took to the course on handcycles. (A list of local handcyclists registered to participate is attached below.)
The 100-mile ride raises money to support the Kelly Brush Foundation’s multi-faceted mission including: improving ski racing safety, enhancing the quality of life for those with SCI through adaptive sports equipment grants, advancing scientific research on SCI and supporting the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team.
Riders can enter as a fundraising team or as individuals riding distances of 28, 50 or 100 miles, with options for 65 and 85 mile loops. Registration is online at :www.kellybrushfoundation.org. Online registration closes on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Day of event registration is open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The scenic ride through rolling farmland along Lake Champlain continues to grow each year. The number of participants grew by 175 last year and fund raising increased by 40 percent.
For every $5,000 raised by a team or individual, the foundation donates adaptive sports equipment in the name of the team or individual who raised the money. In addition, funds raised support ski racing safety grants awarded to ski clubs and racing organizations across the country for safety equipment such as netting to line race courses and protective gear for racers.
The Kelly Brush Century Ride was started by the Middlebury College Ski Team as a way to raise money to buy an adaptive mono-ski for team member Kelly Brush, who was paralyzed as the result of a ski racing crash. Brush and her family later founded a non-profit, and the ride was opened to the public.
The Kelly Brush Century Ride is made possible thanks to the generosity of participants and sponsors including: VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Shearer Audi, Sugarbush Resort, Earthlogic and many others.
About the foundation: The Kelly Brush Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving ski racing safety, enhancing the quality of life for those with spinal cord injury(SCI) through providing adaptive sports equipment, advancing scientific research on SCI and supporting the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team. Kelly Brush, together with her family, started the foundation in 2006 after she sustained a severe spinal cord injury while racing in NCAA Div. 1 competition as a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team in Vermont. The Kelly Brush Foundation affirms Kelly’s ongoing commitment to live life on her own terms and better the lives of others living with SCI. www.kellybrushfoundation.org
The roster of handcyclists registered for the Kelly Brush ride includes the following participants from Vermont:
Bryan Bathalon, Eden
Kelly Brush, Charlotte
Cleary Buckley, South Burlington
D Sandy Craige, Barre
Jay Flickinger, Shelburne
Chris Grant, New Haven
Paula McNeill, Rutland
Eric Rose, Manchester Center
Jeremy Shortsleeve, Essex Junction
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From Press Release
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.