BURLINGTON, Vt. – The 15th annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations looked a little different this year. The Kelly Brush Ride went virtual for 2020 and received overwhelming support from the organization’s local and national community. The Kelly Brush Foundation hosted a summer of weekly fundraising and Strava challenges, culminating in a day of getting active Sept. 12 to celebrate the event.
A total of 748 people joined the virtual Kelly Brush Ride, including 35 handcyclists. Participation spanned 27 states and two Canadian provinces. The Kelly Brush Foundation set a fundraising goal of $500,000 for the 2020 event, and as of Sept. 16, the event had brought in over $566,000 in peer-to-peer donations and sponsorship.
Funds raised at the Kelly Brush Ride support the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries through sports and recreation. The KBF’s Active Fund provides grants to purchase adaptive sports equipment for people who are paralyzed, and the Kelly Brush Ride is a crucial source of funding for these grants. The ride also supports the foundation’s ski racing safety program.
“We are absolutely blown away by the amount of engagement, fundraising, and excitement generated by a fully virtual Kelly Brush Ride. We are living in unprecedented and difficult times, and to have this level of support shows the true compassion and generosity of the KBF community. We are honored to have 748 participants, 3,105 donors, and 20 sponsors who believe in our mission enough to take part in the virtual event,” said Zeke Davisson, executive director of the Kelly Brush Foundation.
Many people with spinal cord injuries want to participate in sports like monoskiing, handcycling, basketball, and rugby, but the adaptive equipment required to participate in these sports costs thousands of dollars. To date the KBF has awarded more than 953 people grants in 48 states for adaptive equipment through its Active Fund. Due to the success of the virtual Kelly Brush Ride, the foundation is planning an increased budget for the fall 2020 Active Fund grant awards.
The Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations is made possible thanks to the generosity of many participants, donors, and sponsors including: the event’s title sponsor VBT Bicycling Vacations, Sugarbush, Audi South Burlington, Murphy Realty Company LLC, Middlebury College, and 15 other generous sponsors.