Kelly Brush Century Ride Set for September 7 -- Riders Support Adaptive Sports, Ski Racing Safety

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Vermont's largest charity ride, the Kelly Brush Century Ride powered by VBT Bicycle and Walking Vacations, is set for September 7 in Middlebury, Vt. Now in its eighth year, the ride has raised over $1 million for adaptive athletes and ski racing safety.

On the day of the ride it's awesome to see so many cyclists out on the road alongside handcyclists all spinning for the same goals. Whether riding 100 miles or 25 miles, all the riders share in the inspiration of the day.

Vermont's largest charity ride, the Kelly Brush Century Ride powered by VBT Bicycle and Walking Vacations, is set for September 7 in Middlebury, Vt.

Now in its eighth year, the ride has raised over $1 million for adaptive athletes and ski racing safety. In addition to drawing more bicyclists than any other charity ride in the state, the event is the region's largest for adaptive athletes using handcycles with more than two dozen participants taking to the course last year.

Funds raised through the ride support the Kelly Brush Foundation's mission to conquer the challenges of paralysis through love of sport by helping athletes with spinal cord injuries purchase specialized sports equipment. The foundation has awarded grants for adaptive gear for skiing, cycling, bowling, rowing and even horse carriage racing.

“Everyone who participates in the Kelly Brush Century Ride contributes to improving the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries and helps to make ski racing safer,” Kelly Brush Foundation President Charlie Brush said. “On the day of the ride it's awesome to see so many cyclists out on the road alongside handcyclists all spinning for the same goals. Whether riding 100 miles or 25 miles, all the riders share in the inspiration of the day.”

Last year, 650 riders participated, supported by 100 volunteers, raising over $250,000 for the Kelly Brush Foundation. Participants in the Kelly Brush Century Ride have helped the foundation award over 60 grants for adaptive equipment and put over 400 miles of safety netting onto race courses across the country.

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 Davisson, who was paralyzed as the result of a ski racing crash. Brush and her family later founded a nonprofit, 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 has seen strong participation from area ski academies, including Green Mountain Valley School, Burke Mountain Academy and Stratton Mountain School. Riders and teams of riders compete to raise the most money with riders earning 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 nonprofit 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. The foundation has raised over $1 million and assisted in procuring over 400 miles of safety netting and other safety equipment for ski racing organizations as well as launched a successful public awareness campaign about ski racing safety. The foundation has also purchased over 60 pieces of adaptive equipment for paralyzed individuals, getting them back into the sports they love. Kelly Brush Davisson, 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

About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations: Founded in 1971 by a Middlebury College professor, VBT offers deluxe, small group bicycling, walking and cross-country skiing tours worldwide, including destinations in Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Peru, Argentina, Canada and the U.S.A. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and full vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes international airfare in its trip cost. http://www.vbt.com.

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Betsy Cabrera
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