Burlington, Vt. (PRWEB) September 18, 2012
Undaunted by blustery winds, cyclists hit the road by the hundreds in the seventh annual Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycle and Walking Vacations pedaling through the Champlain Valley raising $250.000 to support spinal cord prevention and ski racing safety.
A total of 625 cyclists including 24 adaptive athletes riding handcycles participated, making the event the largest charity ride in Vermont. The riders were supported by over 100 volunteers, including ski team members from Castleton State College and Green Mountain Valley School, a ski academy in Waitsfield, Vt.
The $250,000 raised supports the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to conquer the challenges of paralysis through love of sport. The foundation helps adaptive athletes purchase specialized athletic equipment so they can continue to be active in sports, a key aspect to improving quality of life. In addition, funds raised support the foundation’s mission to raise the bar for ski racing safety by assisting ski clubs and race programs across the country with purchasing safety netting and other equipment to improve race course safety and prevent spinal cord injuries. To date the foundation has underwritten costs for nearly 50 pieces of adaptive equipment and 400 miles of ski racing safety netting.
“We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the cyclists who pedaled for spinal cord injury prevention and the army of volunteers who made the ride happen,” said Kelly Brush Foundation President Charlie Brush. “Every single cyclist who participates in the ride plays an essential role in meeting our mission. With each piece of adaptive equipment the foundation underwrites for an adaptive athlete and each roll of safety netting the foundation helps a ski club procure, we are making a significant difference.”
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 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
IMAGE CAPTION: Led by Kelly Brush, handcyclists start the Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations in Middlebury, Vt. on September 8. The seventh annual ride through the Champlain Valley drew over 700 riders and volunteers including 24 adaptive athletes using handcycles. The event raised $250,000 for spinal cord injury prevention and adaptive sports equipment grants. The ride also supports the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to improve ski racing safety. The ride has grown to be the state’s largest charity ride and is one of the best attended events in the Northeast for adaptive athletes using handcycles. (Photo by Rajan Chawla Photography)
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