Bruce Downes, Kelly Brush Foundation
The 17th annual Kelly Brush Ride raised more than $1 million for the first time ever, and as a result the Kelly Brush Foundation will achieve another first — awarding $1 million in adaptive sports equipment grants this year.
“It is amazing that after 17 years the Kelly Brush Ride has reached the $1 million mark,” said executive director Edie Perkins.
He said the $1 million is coupled with camps, scholarships and digital resource development, all geared towards helping tens of thousands of people with spinal cord injuries get back to active lives.
On Sept. 10, in Middlebury more than 900 riders on 77 teams along with 40 adaptive riders participated in the Kelly Brush Ride, raising $1,024,043. Funds raised from the event provide direct support to people with spinal cord injuries to afford cost-prohibitive adaptive sports equipment like handcycles, mono-skis, sports wheelchairs and more.
“Hitting the $1 million mark for two key milestones — funds raised and grants awarded — really takes the foundation to the next level. This level of fundraising puts the Kelly Brush Ride among the top charity rides in the country,” said Kelly Brush of Charlotte, whose family started the foundation following a ski racing accident that left her paralyzed in 2006. “I can’t thank enough the thousands of donors, sponsors and volunteers who have supported us over the years and with whom we could not have reached these major milestones.”
To date, the foundation has awarded more than 1,400 adaptive equipment grants to people in 49 states for adaptive equipment. 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 race course safety. In 2022, the foundation awarded a record $120,000 in course improvement grants.