Kelly Brush Rides: 2006 – Present
Mattie and Kelly began ski racing against each other at age 13, Mattie being an elite youth ski racer from New Hampshire and Kelly an elite racer from Vermont. They became best friends in college, racing together for Middlebury College. After Kelly’s injury, the Middlebury Alpine Ski Team rode 100 miles to raise money to purchase adaptive sports equipment for Kelly. Mattie was the highest fundraiser and the Kelly Brush Century Ride was born!
What was your first Kelly Brush Ride? I rode 100 miles the first year we did the Kelly Brush Ride when we were just fundraising for Kelly. We came together as a team, struggled though the 100 miles and raised money to help Kelly get back to the life she deserves. That ride was really special. I remember having to really lean on my teammates and we all had to work together to get it done, but it was an incredible success and now 10 years later the ride is only getting bigger, badder and more successful!
“I ride for Kelly, I ride for the Kelly Brush Foundation, I ride for all those struggling with a spinal cord injury and I ride because it is fun!”
Any fundraising tips? For me I find being authentic and explaining why the KBF is important to me is the best way to fundraise. I want the people I am asking to give money to know my personal connection and understand why I feel like they should donate and get involved. I like to reach out with personalized emails to my extended network of friends.
Any cool stories from the Kelly Brush Ride? I have to say, without a doubt, my favorite part is watching all the handcyclists start and riding with them through the Middlebury campus. It is incredibly inspirational and a great reminder of why we do the ride. It is so cool to ride off and start the day-long challenge together.