Flight for Life bike race raises over $5K
A fundraising effort by local families and businesses combined raised more than $5,000 for Summit County Flight For Life crews. The “Strider For Life” bike race and silent auction took place the morning of Saturday, Aug. 15, bringing 80 kids on their Strider balance bikes racing around a small circuit at the Frisco Adventure Park.
“It was a very special time out on Saturday, just to see how the community gathers together for this cause,” said Mary Elaine Moore, owner of the Stork and Bear Co. and one of the event organizers. “So many people with Flight For Life were there —flight nurses, their children, nurses at the hospital —it was overwhelming to see such a gathering.”
The fundraiser was the brainchild of Brittany Gilbert, a Breckenridge resident who has been airlifted by Flight For Life twice. She said that some of the funds would be used to create a park to honor the three men involved in a fatal, July 3 Flight For Life helicopter crash that killed pilot Patrick Mahany and seriously injured flight nurses Matt Bowe and David Repsher. Bowe has recovered significantly since the crash, while Repsher remains in critical condition.
“When this accident occurred, it wasn’t just an accident, (it) was a wound dealt to the community,” said Eddie O’Brien, one of the organizers of the project. “No one who flies a helicopter asks for drivers license or credit card. When you’re having the worst day of your life it’s the best thing that can happen to you.”
Once the park is funded, Moore said, she and Gilbert would continue to host Strider for Life annually as a fundraising opportunity for other needs that the local Flight For Life organization would sustain. Moore still has extra t-shirts and bike plates from the fundraiser for sale; t-shirts are $16 each and bike plates are $5 each.
“People are still giving. They’re amazing,” Moore said.
During Saturday’s event, a Flight For Life helicopter on its way to Denver dipped down closer to the crowd.
“It was really special. It was more than we could have imagined,” Gilbert said. “We were so glad that the community came together for Flight For Life. It would not have been as successful without them. It just proves again that this is why we live here.”
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