The Long Trail Century Ride exceeded expectations in raising funds for programming and adaptive equipment for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.
By Kim Jackson, Photos by Barb Wood
From Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports KILLINGTON — Approximately 1,000 people, including 500 cyclists, enjoyed a day of cruising the Green Mountains and après-ride partying at Long Trail Brewery in an effort to raise money and awareness for adaptive sports at the fourth annual Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports on Saturday, June 21. Cyclists, sponsors and party-goers raised more than $125,000 for Vermont Adaptive, which will be used for programming and expensive adaptive sports equipment. The event raised $75,000 in 2013.
“This year’s event surpassed all of our expectations and our goals” said Erin Fernandez, executive director at Vermont Adaptive. “The outpouring of support from this community is incredible. From the folks who rode and their family and friends who cheered them on, to the dozens of sponsors who made either cash or product donations to the folks who came out for the après-ride party, to the more than 80 volunteers, everyone wanted to help. To Long Trail and Killington Resort, I extend a huge thank you. You are amazing partners, and we are so lucky to be able to work with you. It was an incredible day.”
The day began at 8 a.m. for many with the start of the century ride, followed by a 60-mile ride at 10:30 a.m. and a 20-mile ride, which included adaptive riders and guides, at 12:30 p.m. Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater Corners was the venue for the après-ride party, which included live music with Duane Carleton, a BBQ, face painting with Moira McKenzie, a magic show with Tom Joyce, and kids activities. Sponsors like the Lookout Tavern, Reinhardt Foods, Upper Valley Produce, Black River Produce, Pepsi, Monster, Farrell’s Distributing and the Woodstock Farmer’s Market, donated much of the food and beverages for the barbecue. Vermont Tourism Commissioner Megan Smith extended congratulations to the group during the awards ceremony.
After what came together in less than six weeks in 2011 for its inaugural ride with just 75 riders, thanks to the inspiration of Lookout Tavern owner Phil Black, the Long Trail Century Ride has become one of Vermont Adaptive’s largest 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 Erin Fernandez, executive director of Vermont Adaptive. “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.”
Fernandez thanked sponsors who contributed to the event with cash or in-kind donations. They included Long Trail Brewing Company, Killington Resort, the Lookout Tavern, Mt. Ascutney Hospital, Norampac, Smartfish, Farrell Distributing, FOX44/ABC, Andler, Ski Vermont, Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Geigerrig, Atlas Distributors, Bellavance Beverage, Burke Distributing, C&C Distributors, Commercial Distributing, Great State Beverage, Hartford Distributors, Levine Distributors, Nash Distributors, National Distributors, New Hampshire Distributors, Star Distributors, Penn Distributors, Gretz Beer, Lisaius Marketing, Reinhart Food Services, Upper Valley Produce, Pepsi, Casella Waste, the Town of Killington, Killington Chamber of Commerce, World Cup Supply, Fit Werx, Paradise Sports, The Mountain Times, DWS Printing, Brewer Supply Group, Awesome Graphics, White River Paper, Eddy Merckx Cycles, Woodstock Farmers Market, Charity’s Restaurant, Monster, Green Mountain Bike Patrol, and Black River Produce.