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July 24, 2006 - Move Over, Tour de France: the Courage Classic

What: 17th annual Courage Classic Bicycle Tour

Where: Leadvile, Summit and Eagle County

When: July 22-24, 2006

Ticket Prices: $95 adults, $55 kids under 15; riders are also required to raise $250 for Children's Hospital

Beneficiary: Children's Hospital

EMCEE: Pat Downey, Old Chicago

President(s): Steve Winesett, President & CEO

Catering: Dougal's Catering Services

Music: Joe Fornothing, formerly LooseChange

Sponsors: Centex, 850 KOA, Frontier Airlines, 9News, Altitude, Copper Mountain, Enterprise Car Sales, Campus Cycles, Dreyer's, Denver Daily News, VBT, Pointb, Pepsi, Mountain High Yogurt, Old Chicago

Menu: Barbeque chicken and hamburgers, veggie burgers, tofu, Caeser salad, Vienna hotdogs

Attendance: 2000

Attire: bike pants and jerseys

Event Coordinator: Raymond Saperstein, Courage Tours

Board of Directors: Marcy Benson, Chair; Joy Johnson, Vice Chair; Frederick B. Taylor, Treasurer; Walter Isenberg, Secretary; Don Elliman, Immediate Past Chair; Michele Ashby; Kaia H. Borgen; Barbara Bridges; Molly Broeren; Jan Cortez; Mary Gittings Cronin; Peter Culshaw; Phil Doty; Brad Dusto; Steve Farber; John Fernie; Caleb F. Gates, Jr.; Cannon “Cy” Harvey; John Ikard; David P. Kaplan; Kelly G. Kennedy; Rich L. Kylberg; Manuel L. Martinez; Tom McGonagle; Mary Osborn; Virginia Reiman; Pat Spieles; Mona Stephens; Richard E. Stoddard; Michelle Kuhn Thatcher; Brian Thomson; Joseph E. Wagner; Ronald W. Williams; Steve Winesett; Laura Wright Trustees Emeritus: James C. Cohig, J.H. Silversmith, Jr.

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress


 Team YAPS (Youth and Pet Survivors) Cory Carroll, left, Anise Fletcher, who just finished 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy, Connie Fredman and 3-legged Boone, who really enjoyed the ride.
Team YAPS (Youth and Pet Survivors) Cory Carroll, left, Anise Fletcher, who just finished 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy, Connie Fredman and 3-legged Boone, who really enjoyed the ride.

The Tour de France had nothing on the Courage Classic as 2,000 enthusiastic cyclists took to the mountain passes of Colorado to support Children's Hospital Foundation for the 17th year.

It was evident why the event was named after "Courage", judging from the looks of triumph and satisfaction that just about every cyclist crossing the finish line had on their faces.

The three-day event began with check-in on July 21 at Copper Mountain and Leadville and included bicycle buskers Bill the Entertainer and Chris Keller, extreme BMX bikers and videos of cycle classic events to get the participants pumped up for their 157-mile trek (Centurions went 100 miles). The grueling 3-day course then began at Leadville and stretched to Vail, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Lake Dillon, Breckenridge and culminating at Leadville High School on July 24.

Riders included everyone from a seven-year old beginner to a 87-year-young expert. Everyone had an incredible amount of courage to tackle the course, but some of the outstanding participants included:

--Team YAPS (Youth and Pet Survivors), including Cory Carroll, Connie Fredman and 14-year-old Anise Fletcher, who just finished 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy for leukemia. They peddled in memory of "Angel and Melina," and pulled 9-year-old labrador Boone in a carrier behind them, who is Anise's pen pal and who participates in the Children's Hospital program that pairs kids with dogs, both undergoing cancer treatment. Boone actually lost one of his legs in an auto accident, but he is a welcome participant in the program.

--Children's Hospital Foundation President Steve Winesett, who alternately pulled three of his children behind him on each day of the race. "They gave me courage getting up the hills and to continue," he said. "They wouldn't let me quit."

--Team "Megasore-ass", including Mary Bruce Glaize, who came out from Virginia to participate as her 50th birthday present.

--Tandem riders Helen McQueeney and Nancy Stevens, who is a blind triathlete.

--87-year-young Irving Weiss, whose advice was "make sure you rest your muscles in between events. That's how you get stronger."

There were participants with prostethics, body parts in slings, fit and not-so-fit--everyone gave it their best.

After peddling through the cheering fans and volunteers handing out Olympic-looking medals at the finish line, participants were allowed to cool down and partake of a great afternoon filled with great barbeque from Dougal's Catering, music from young and talented band Joe Fornothing (formerly "Loose Change"), free Dreyer's Ice Cream and lively conversation about the ride and the wondrous vistas along the way.

More than 450 volunteers helped to make the event a success, from serving food to emptying trash to working registration to running aid stations.

It was a very successful weekend, and a bountiful testiment to the Children's Hospital Foundation's work. Event coordinators bore the Children's Hospital Foundation "Imagine the Miracles" logo, and with such resounding support, it is indeed easy to imagine.

Founded in 1908, The Children’s Hospital is a private, not-for-profit pediatric health-care network located in Denver, and 100 percent dedicated to caring for kids. Children's has been ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for more than a decade. In July 2005, U.S. News ranked Children's as No. 7; in January 2005, Child Magazine ranked Children's No. 7 as well, and called out three programs [the cancer program, the neonatal intensive care program and the Heart Institute] for their excellence.

With 1,130 pediatric specialists and more than 2,300 full-time employees, Children’s is home to a number of nationally and internationally recognized medical programs.

Children's is at the forefront of research into childhood disease and receives more than $30 million each year from the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. Children's and its affiliates are responsible for virtually all of the pediatric research published in the Rocky Mountain region for at least a decade.

From medical breakthroughs to late-night fevers, Children’s provides complete pediatric care at its main campus and through a network that includes five community-based after-hour care sites, eight specialty-care centers, and more than 400 outreach clinics held in three states each year. For more information about Children's Hospital and the Foundation, log on to www.imaginethemiracles.org.

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