The Mountain Times

°F Mon, April 21, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Cyclists raise $75,000

Monies raised support people with disabilities

KILLINGTON - More than 600 people enjoyed a day either cycling through the Green Mountains, hanging out with friends and family - or both - in an effort to raise money and awareness for adaptive sports at the third annual Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports on Saturday, June 22. Cyclists and sponsors raised $75,000 for Vermont Adaptive, which will be used for programming and expensive adaptive sports equipment. The event raised $40,000 in 2012.

"I don't even know where to start with the thank yous," said Erin Fernandez, executive director at Vermont Adaptive. "I met so many new people this weekend. I made new friends. Everyone had great intentions. Everyone wanted to help. An amazing community of people surrounded us on Saturday. It was an incredible day."

The ride began at 7 a.m. for century riders, followed by a 60-mile ride at 9 a.m. and a 20-mile ride, which included adaptive riders and guides, at 12-noon. Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater Corners was the venue for the après-ride party, complete with live music by Jim Gilmour and Duane Carleton, a BBQ, face painting with Moira McKenzie, a magic show with Tom Joyce, and kids activities. The Lookout Tavern in Killington catered the party and others donated food, including Reinhardt Foods, Upper Valley Produce, Black River Produce, the Deli at Killington Corners, the Phat Italian, and the Woodstock Farmer's Market.

After what came together in less than six weeks in 2011 for its inaugural ride, thanks to the inspiration of Phil Black owner of The Lookout Tavern, the Long Trail Century Ride has become one of Vermont Adaptive's premier annual fundraising events.

"We believe sports and recreation provide a physical, mental and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual," said Fernandez. "We extend an enormous thanks to Phil for starting this ride for us and to Long Trail and also to Killington Resort, who help in supporting an event of this caliber. Everyone in the community has been very supportive of our efforts, and the ride will help us to underwrite some of the costs of our adaptive programs and allow more people with disabilities to participate."

For more info visit www.longtrailcenturyride.com. The date for the 4th annual ride will be announced shortly.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. The organization promotes independence and further equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients from all over the world in three locations in Vermont - Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

Photo by Barb Wood