Kelly Brush Century Ride Set for Sept. 8 -- Supports Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Adaptive Sports and Ski Racing Safety

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Kelly Brush Foundation announces seventh annual bicycle and handcycle ride for spinal cord injury prevention, adaptive sports and ski racing safety. Scenic ride in Champlain Valley of Vermont is the state's largest charity ride.

"In addition to enjoying a fun and scenic ride through the Champlain Valley, participants in the Kelly Brush Century Ride have a positive impact on the lives of those with spinal cord injuries."

The Kelly Brush Century Ride powered by VBT Bicycle and Walking Vacations is set for September 8 in Middlebury Vt. Now in its seventh year, the ride benefits adaptive athletes and supports spinal cord injury prevention.

Bicyclists and handcyclists who participate in the ride help athletes with spinal cord injuries experience the benefits of sports through funding grants to purchase specialized equipment for skiing, cycling, bowling, rowing and even scuba diving. Providing adaptive athletes with the opportunity to participate in sports is a key aspect of the foundation’s mission, said Kelly Brush Foundation President Charlie Brush.

“Conquering the challenges of paralysis through love of sport is an important goal of the Kelly Brush Foundation’s adaptive equipment grant program,” Brush said. “In addition to enjoying a fun and scenic ride through the Champlain Valley, participants in the Kelly Brush Century Ride have a positive impact on the lives of those with spinal cord injuries.”

The ride not only benefits adaptive athletes, it also supports spinal cord injury prevention through raising awareness and helping to change the paradigm for ski racing safety across the country.

Last year, over 700 riders and 24 handcyclists raised over $275,000 for the Kelly Brush Foundation.

Funds raised from the ride have allowed the Kelly Brush Foundation to award grants for a wide array of adaptive sports equipment for individuals across the country. In addition, ski clubs at mountains from Maine to California have received grants for over 400 miles of netting to make race courses safer for all skiers.

The 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 scenic ride over gently rolling terrain in the Champlain Valley offers several distance options: 25, 50 or 100 miles, with options to ride 65 or 85 miles. In addition to members of the Middlebury College Ski Team, the ride sees strong participation from area ski academies, including Green Mountain Valley School, Burke Mountain Academy and Stratton Mountain School. New this year, riders can earn Patagonia clothing by reaching fundraising milestones.

Registration is online at: http://www.kellybrushfoundation.org

The Kelly Brush Century Ride powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations is made possible thanks to the generosity of participants and sponsors including: VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Shearer Audi, Sugarbush Resort, KeyBank, Saatchi & Saatchi, World Cup Supply and 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.http://www.kellybrushfoundation.org

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Betsy Cabrera
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