Paul Kresge’s legacy lives on through 2nd Annual Memorial Bike Ride
It has been two years since Dillon resident Paul Kresge died in a boating accident on Lake Dillon, but Kresge’s legacy continues to live on today through a memorial bike ride that helps give back to local athletes.
Kresge died on June 13, 2020 after taking his boat out as part of the Dillon Yacht Club’s Peak 1 Regatta.
Kresge was reportedly traveling downwind toward the Dillon Marina when a strong storm cell approached Summit County causing severe wind gusts and waves up to 4 feet high.
The wind caused Kresge’s boat to broach, resulting in him being thrown from the boat into the water and leaving one passenger aboard.
After Kresge fell into the water, boats nearby had trouble locating the Dillon resident. Kresge’s body was later discovered the next morning beneath the surface of the water, and it was later determined Kresge’s cause of death was accidental drowning.
A year after Kresge’s death, the Kresge family, with the help of Over the Hill Gang Social committee, reached out to the local youth development program, Team Summit, to start a memorial scholarship fund in Kresge’s name to exclusively help athletes in Summit County.
Kresge was an avid outdoorsman, spending his time sailing, biking and skiing. He spent a lot of his time overseeing the Over the Hill Gang program at Copper Mountain and working with kids at the Dillon Marina.
“We set out to do something and we evolved to this concept of creating a fund,” Bradley Rosenberg with Over the Hill Gang said. “We recognized we didn’t want to manage the fund. We wanted to build a relationship with someone who already invented the wheel.”
Over the Hill Gang Social looked at several organizations but ultimately settled on Team Summit because of shared values between the two organizations.
“Over the Hill Gang Social selected Team Summit because our values aligned,”events and operations manager with Team Summit, Phil Kubiske said. “We are process focused so we focus on the athletic process and teaching youth development through outdoor activities.”
The inaugural ride was hosted last summer where enough money was raised to benefit eight Summit County youth athletes with the Paul Kresge Scholarship.
“The scholarships go through a rigorous process, and we know that this money is going to families who actually need it,” Kubiske said. “It goes to working-class families in Summit County in order to provide them with not just child care but youth development experiences.”
Team Summit is hoping to benefit even more athletes through this year’s second annual Paul Kresge Memorial Bike Ride which will take place on Sunday, July 10.
Event organizers have hopes of raising at least $30,000 to benefit even more athletes in Kresge’s honor.
“Our goal this year is to expand our reach past the Over the Hill Gang Social group and into Summit County,” Rosenberg said, “for people to come out and support this program and help us raise some money to help these kids.”
Like last year’s event, the ride truly honors Kresge as the ride circumvents the entire perimeter of the Summit Country Repath, with Lake Dillon as the backdrop where Kresge often spent his time sailing and biking.
“Paul Kresge used to ride this ride multiple days a week in about 50 to 52 minutes,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a tribute to Paul and his athletic ability. He was a committed athlete his entire life.”
Even the event logo pays homage to Kresge with a maritime flag design that stands for “PK 7977.” The PK stands for Paul Kresge, while 7977 was the number on Kresge’s boat.
The ride will start from Marina Park Pavilion in Dillon and work clockwise a little over 18 miles before ending in the same spot.
The event is aimed towards bikers but the event also has route options for hikers and athletes of various abilities. Participants are not obligated to finish the full loop if they choose not to.
Tickets for the ride cost $100 each and include a commemorative T-shirt and a box lunch after the end of the ride. There is also a $75 lunch ticket for those who wish to only attend the lunch social at the end of the event.
The start of the ride is tentatively set to start at 8:30 a.m. on July 10 with the lunch social occurring from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A final schedule will be set on July 1 along with ticket prices increasing by $25.
Those who wish to give to the Paul Kresge Memorial Fund can do so by visiting TeamSummit.Kindful.com.
For more information or to register for the event, visit TeamSummit.org.
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