Athletes raise money for adaptive equipment

BURLINGTON — A team of disabled athletes using hand cycles will ride in the fourth annual Kelly Brush Century Ride on Sept. 12. Team Ride-On members aim to raise money for adaptive equipment so others like them get the chance to participate in sports.

“The Kelly Brush Century Ride is a perfect opportunity for us to give back to the disabled community and to highlight the value of sport for the disabled,” said Patrick Standen, president of the board of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and Team Ride-On leader. “One hand cycle can cost $5,000 or more, and, for many people, that becomes a barrier to participation.”

About half of the 14-member Team Ride-On have received hand cycles or other adaptive sports equipment with help from grants from the Kelly Brush Foundation. The foundations work includes awarding grants to help purchase adaptive sports equipment for those with spinal cord injuries.

Sports were such an important part of my life before my spinal cord injury. There was never any question that sports would continue to be in my life, said Kelly Brush, who, together with her family, started the foundation in 2006 after she sustained a severe spinalcord injury while racing in NCAA Div. 1 competition as a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team in Vermont. Helping others get back to the sports they love is a key part of our mission.

The fourth annual Kelly Brush Century Ride is Saturday, Sept. 12 in Middlebury. The 100-mile ride through the Lake Champlain Valley benefits spinal cord injury prevention and awareness and funds grants for adaptive sports equipment for those with SCI. The foundation also awards grants for improving ski racing safety. Over 360 riders participated in last year’s ride, raising $135,000.

Riders may participate as individuals, riding either 25, 50 or 100 miles, competing to raise the most money. Riders may also enter as a fundraising team. For the first time this year, teams or individuals raising $5,000 will have a KBF hand cycle grant awarded in their name.

To support Team Ride-On with a donation or to register for the ride please visit Pre-registration is required.

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