Hey mom and dad, Strider for Life benefit is back for little cyclists Aug. 19 | SummitDaily.com

Hey mom and dad, Strider for Life benefit is back for little cyclists Aug. 19

It's good to be a kid in Frisco this weekend.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, the town's annual Free Family Fun Fair returns for a 12th season of carnival games, carnival rides, sandcastles, climbing walls, Tumble Bubble balls and more, all hosted for free at the Frisco Adventure Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids, parents, grandparents and everyone in between are invited to the bash, which is held come rain or shine.

For the third year, the Strider for Life bike fundraiser is back as one of the most popular — and most philanthropic — events at the Family Fun Fair. The event gives young cyclists between ages 1 and 5 years old the chance to race on low-riding Strider bikes (or any other pedal-less bike) while raising funds for the local Flight For Life program. Mom and dad pay $10 per child, while each Tour de France tot-in-training gets at least one race against other children in his or her age group. All proceeds from the event will help purchase a new $220,000 ambulance for calls to sites in Summit, Eagle, Park, Yampa and other surrounding counties where the helicopter can't reach.

"This is now becoming an event that the community and families and kids are looking forward to," said Mary Elaine Moore, Strider for Life coordinator and owner of Stork and Bear Company in Breckenridge. "They love not only the Striders, but they love the connection to our helicopters and Flight For Life. It's dear to the kids' hearts because they see it flying and the parents let them know this is an important part of the community, and the kids get it."

Striders to Sikorskys

Strider for Life might be just 3 years old this August, but it's already leaving a legacy. In 2015, the inaugural event drew 82 young riders and raised $6,600 through race fees, sponsorships and the affiliated silent auction. In 2016, the event blossomed to 92 riders and raised roughly $10,100, with all funds being matched 100 percent by event sponsors for a grand total of $20,200, according to town officials.

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For 2017, the town and Moore hope Strider for Life continues growing. Moore expects at least 92 riders again and total fundraising of $12,000, spurred along by silent auction items like an Arapahoe Basin season pass, a Keystone Ranch Course golf package and gift certificates from local businesses. And she's well on her way: Three days before the event, she's collected $7,500 from sponsors and added new, big backers like Breckenridge Grand Vacations and Vail Summit Orthopedics.

"It's nice that this is still growing," Moore said. "It seems like I'm hearing more and more that the kids are excited, that they anticipate this as an end-of-summer event."

What's it take to compete on Saturday? Just a pedal-less bike and a helmet, Moore said, although there won't be any Strider bikes available to borrow. All riders race along a custom course built on asphalt with several plywood obstacles — think things like ramps, a rumble board and a water feature — and the top-three finishers in each age division take home awards, including medals and bike bells.

"You don't even need to have a Strider rider to come out and support the cause," Moore said. "Grandparents, friends — anyone — they can come out … to cheer them on. That's what the kids love."

2017 Strider for Life

What: The third edition of kid-friendly bike race made just for two-wheel, pedal-less bikes to support the local Flight for Life program

When: Saturday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m.

Where: Frisco Adventure Park, 621 Recreation Way in Frisco

Cost: $10 per child

The event is open to kids from 1-5 years old with separate divisions for each age group. On-site registration is available at the Nordic center day lodge beginning at 10 a.m. Along with the races, a benefit auction featuring items from local businesses is also available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers urge all participants to arrive at least 30 minutes early to park, register and wrangle kids. Parking will be tight because of the Frisco Free Family Fun Fair at the same time. For more info about the bike races or to donate, contact Mary Elaine Moore of Stork and Bear Company at Memoore@colorado.net or (970) 668-5937.

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