At Thursday’s meeting, the Hickory Rotary Club heard about this year’s Carolina Cycle Challenge from speakers Bill Shillito, Mark Childers, John Link, Tom Lilly and Mike Johnson. The Rotary Clubs in the Hickory Metro will take the lead in continuing a bike ride that was created by Brett Gosnell and his family and friends in 2003.
Brett’s Ride has been one of the most popular bike rides across the state raising money earmarked for pediatric cancer research. In nine years, Brett’s ride has raised more than $1 million. One reason the fundraiser is so popular is that it includes opportunities for all members of a family to participate by including a bike ride for toddlers, and a 10-mile ride up to a 52-mile ride for elite cyclists.
The fundraiser is in memory of Brett Gosnell who lost his life to rhabdomyosar-coma (Rhabdo) in 2006. At the beginning of the ride just two months after his death, a challenge from Brett was read (link) to the cyclists, and it included this line, “Put helping, caring about, and serving others at the center of all that you do—not just today or tomorrow but for the remainder of your life.”
“That sentence in Brett’s Challenge is synonymous with Rotary International’s mission of service above self,” said former Rotary District 7670 Governor Bill Shillito, who is one of the Rotarians leading the new ride and also a member of the Catawba Valley Rotary Club. Catawba Valley Rotary Club, Hickory Rotary Club, Lake Hickory Rotary Club, along with members of the Hickory Velo Club, the City of Hickory and community members, have taken Brett’s challenge to heart and want to continue the ride that he began almost a decade ago. The ride will be similar, but with a new name – “Carolina Cycle Challenge”. Plans are currently underway for the Sunday, October 6, ride.
Funds for this year’s Carolina Cycle Challenge will continue to support pediatric cancer research. “Brett loved this community and truly believed in making a difference in the lives of others, and in his challenge he asks that we pick up where he left off, and we did for many years, and it has been tremendous, and we are truly thankful for the support over the years,” said Brett’s father Mark Gosnell. “We whole-heartedly support the next chapter of this ride and know it will continue to triumph.”
For more information visit www.brettsride.org.