The 5th annual Kelly Brush Century Ride drew 675 riders and raised $275,000 for spinal cord injury prevention and research on Saturday.
The ride, which began and ended at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. included 23 participants using hand cycles. The day was postcard perfect with clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70s.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see such strong support for the foundation and our mission,” said Charlie Brush, Kelly Brush Foundation president. “Our thanks goes to each and every rider whose participation helps the Kelly Brush Foundation make a positive difference in the lives of those with SCI and raises the bar for ski racing safety.”
The 100-mile ride raises money for 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.
The ride continues to grow each year. The number of participants grew by about 175 this year and fundraising increased by about 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 netting to line race courses and safety 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. On Saturday’s ride, participants rode distances of 28, 50 or 100 miles, with options for 65 and 85 mile loops.
The Kelly Brush Century Ride is made possible thanks to the generosity of participants and sponsors including: VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Sugarbush Resort, Shearer Audi, Audi of America, KeyBank, Saatchi & Saatchi and Champlain Investment Partners and others.