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BURLINGTON, Vt. (Sept. 23, 2021)—Participants in the 16th Annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations raised more than $825,000, setting a fundraising record for the event. The ride supports the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of those with spinal cord injury through sports and recreation.

Greg Durso, Program Director at the Kelly Brush Foundation, leads a group of handcyclists at the start of the 16th Annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations in Middlebury, Vermont.

This year’s ride, which took place on September 11, was highlighted by the first female handcyclist successfully completing the 100-mile route that starts and ends in Middlebury, Vermont. Starting in the predawn hours, Naomi Clark of Ashfield, Massachusetts, handcycled for nearly 12 hours to complete the ride.

“Naomi’s spirit in tackling the 100-mile route embodies the spirit of this year’s event, and everything we do at the Kelly Brush Foundation,” said Executive Director Edie Perkins. “This unprecedented level of fundraising support from participants is absolutely amazing and makes it possible for the Kelly Brush Foundation to have a direct, positive impact in the lives of people with spinal cord injuries across the country,”

The event drew 942 in-person and virtual participants, including 47 handcyclists. Funds raised provide direct support for equipment that gets people with spinal cord injuries out enjoying the activities that enrich their lives, like skiing, basketball, cycling and tennis. To date, the foundation has awarded more than 1,172 grants in 48 states for adaptive equipment through its Active Fund. The ride also supports the foundation’s ski racing safety program. Each year grants are awarded to ski clubs and racing programs for improving race course safety.

“Congratulations to the Kelly Brush Foundation for such a successful event. It’s been exciting to see the ride continue to grow over the past decade that VBT has been the title sponsor,” said Timo Shaw, VBT Bicycling Vacations president. “We are proud to be aligned with the KBF community and part of this wonderful gathering.”

The Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations is made possible thanks to the generosity of many participants, volunteers and sponsors including: VBT Bicycling Vacations, Sugarbush Resort, Murphy Realty Company, LLC, Audi South Burlington, Ross-Simons Jewelry, World Cup Supply, Gravel & Shea PC, NBT Bank, Nokian Tyres, People’s United Bank, Vermont Mortgage Company, our hosts on the Middlebury Ski Team and other generous sponsors.

About Kelly Brush Foundation

The Kelly Brush Foundation is a dynamic and growing Burlington, Vermont-based non-profit inspiring and empowering people with spinal cord injuries to be active and working closely with the alpine ski racing community to improve safety. The Kelly Brush Foundation was founded in 2006 by Kelly and her family after Kelly sustained a spinal cord injury while racing in an NCAA alpine ski race. To date the Kelly Brush Foundation has awarded more than 1,172 adaptive equipment grants to people in 48 states.