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Cyclists gearing up for Kelly Brush Ride next week

CYCLISTS OF ALL kinds will take to the roads of Addison County for the 17th Annual Kelly Brush Ride. Organizers hope to raise at least $975,000, which will be used to get adaptive sport equipment to those with spinal cord injuries. Photo courtesy of Kelly Brush Foundation

MIDDLEBURY — Cyclists from all over the region will be once again gathering in Middlebury to join in the biggest charity cycling event in the state, the 17th annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations. The ride, devoted to the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to inspire and empower people with spinal cord injuries to lead active and engaged lives, returns on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“This year we’ve set a high bar with a fundraising goal that will allow us to award a record number of grants,” said Kelly Brush Foundation Executive Director Edie Perkins. “We’re counting on the hundreds of riders who participate and raise funds to enable the foundation to supply adaptive sports equipment to more than 250 individuals with spinal cord injuries this year.”

For the 2022 ride, the Kelly Brush Foundation aims to raise $975,000, which will allow the foundation to allocate over $1 million for adaptive sports equipment, setting a record for annual grants awarded by the foundation. Last year, the event drew more than 942 in-person and virtual riders, including 47 handcyclists, and raised more than $825,000 to provide direct support for adaptive sports equipment used in skiing, basketball, cycling, and tennis.

“We’ve set a big goal because we want to be able to give more people than ever from the spinal cord community the opportunity to enjoy being active,” said Kelly Brush, whose family started the foundation following a ski racing accident that left her paralyzed in 2006. “The money raised from the Kelly Brush Ride directly enables grant recipients to get the cost-prohibitive, adaptive sports equipment they need to get active.”

In-person participants can ride 100, 50, 20, or 10-mile routes through the scenic Champlain Valley with stunning views of the Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks. For those who can’t make it to Vermont, the foundation offers a ride anywhere option that allows participants to join in the fundraising ride from the road or trail of their choosing.

The foundation has awarded more than 1,400 adaptive equipment grants to people in 49 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 non-profit ski clubs and racing programs for improving racecourse safety.

Registration is now open at www.kellybrushfoundation.org/ride. Online registration closes Sept. 7.

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