The Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations drew more than 700 riders who raised $320,00 for adaptive athletic equipment for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) and to improve ski racing safety. Riding as teams and individuals, 724 cyclists, including 28 handcyclists, rolled out from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont on September 6 raising a record amount for the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to conquer the challenges of paralysis through love of sport and to raise awareness about and raise the bar for ski racing safety. The fundraising ride is Vermont’s largest.
“Gray skies didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers and supporters who turned out for the ninth annual Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations,” said Zeke Davisson, president of the Kelly Brush Foundation. “The tremendous support has pushed our fundraising total close to $2 million enabling the Kelly Brush Foundation to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of those living with SCI and to shift the paradigm when it comes to ski racing safety.”
In the nine years since the ride’s inception, the Kelly Brush Foundation has donated more than 100 pieces of adaptive athletic gear including handcycles, monoskis, tennis, rugby and soccer chairs, bowling equipment and even adaptive scuba gear. In addition, more than 400 miles of safety netting has been purchased to line racing and training courses, improving safety and preventing injury. Grants from the foundation have also provided ski and snowboard clubs with safety equipment such as spine protectors and padding for courses and supported the modification of race venues to meet international safety standards.
“It is a great pleasure to cycle alongside members of the community during the Kelly Brush Century Ride,” said Gregg Marston, president of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations. “It’s events like this that keep us all so passionate about biking because it brings people together in a positive way.”
The ride supports the Kelly Brush Foundation’s three grant programs:
- Individual Grants—for adaptive athletic equipment to individuals paralyzed due to SCI;
- Ski Racing Safety Grants—to ski and snowboard clubs for safety equipment and trail modifications to make race venues safer;
- Spinal Cord Research Grants—to rehabilitation hospitals and organizations working toward a cure for paralysis.
Grant applications are being accepted for Individual Grants and Ski Racing Safety Grants through October 31. Please visit www.kellybrushfoundation.org for information.
The Kelly Brush Century Ride course features rolling terrain and Lake Champlain views over several distances: 25, 50 or 100 miles, with options to ride 65 or 85 miles. Riders and teams of riders compete to raise the most money with prizes for reaching fundraising milestones.
The Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations is made possible thanks to the generosity of many participants, volunteers and sponsors including title sponsor VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, along with top sponsors Shearer Audi, Sugarbush Resort and many 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 and advancing scientific research on SCI. The foundation has raised more than $1.5 million and assisted in procuring more than 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 more than 100 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: VBT offers 50 deluxe, small group bicycling and walking tours in 26 different countries, including destinations throughout Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, China, and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities and on-tour vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes round-trip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations. www.vbt.com
Source: Kelly Brush Foundation 9.16.2014
IMAGE CAPTION: Kelly Brush Davisson leads the start of the Kelly Brush Century Ride Powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations in Middlebury, Vermont on Sept. 6, 2014. The ride drew 724 cyclists, including 28 handcyclists, spinning to support the Kelly Brush Foundation's mission to conquer the challenges of paralysis through love of sport and to improve ski racing safety. (Caleb Kenna Photography)