08 November 2010

Park-2-Park 2010 Raises $62,000 and Awareness of CASA Programs in Montana

Nearly 40 riders pedaled through the Roosevelt arch in Gardiner at Yellowstone Park after completing the 400-mile trip across Montana Sept. 10. Photo courtesy of Ellen Bush, CASA Montana.

Despite a struggling economy and reported cutbacks on charitable donations by individuals and families, The Sixth Annual Park-2-Park Montana 2010 fundraising event exceeded its target goal, reportedly raising $62,000 to help support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs throughout Montana.

According to organizers, participants met their set goal of nearly $50,000 by the start of the event September 6th; since then, another $12,000 has been donated to provide advocacy for abused and neglected children so they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. Funds will be shared with 15 local programs in Montana through mini grants to assist program operation. Programs are currently recruiting new volunteers to speak up for children who are in the state’s court system through no fault of their own. More than 400 volunteers are now advocating for nearly 1,000 children who have suffered abuse and neglect.

Cyclist Troy Charbonneau was the top fundraiser at nearly $9,000, with the support of JCT Construction, Jim and Janet Charbonneau, Cycle Montana and the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Deputy Benevolence Association. Helena rider John Morrison raised $6,500 with the help of Platinum sponsors Presidio Insurance and ALPS Insurance. Great Falls attorney Dave Slovak was close behind with more than $5,000 in donations. Kalispell rider Susen Marie Ladd raised more than $4,000 for her fourth CASA ride, most in donations of $100 or less.
New York state rider Steve Suozzo was enthusiastic about the experience. It was an absolutely wonderful adventure. A life-changing week,” wrote Steve. “The support team was great, and made the event so much more enjoyable. The food, rest stops, lunches and dinners were great fun and well stocked. Bravo to all of you on the CASA team.”

(Left: Park-2-Park Montana 2010 group with the CASA truck at the Dupuyer Community Center. Photo courtesy of Ellen Bush, CASA Montana.) Ride organizer Joe Bryce has announced Sept. 12 -16, 2011 as the scheduled ride dates for next year with a route along highway 89 from St. Mary’s KOA at Glacier Park to Gardiner in Yellowstone Park. The route takes cyclists along the eastern side of Glacier National Park through spectacular scenery along the Rocky Mountain front US 89 through Dupuyer, Choteau, Great Falls, White Sulphur Springs and Livingston before concluding at Yellowstone National Park. Save the date and keep informed along the way at park2parkmontana.org .

Photo taken approximately one mile from the finish. BicyclingHub.com owner Douglas Duguay reminisces, "It felt great riding in a giant pack of riders about to complete over 400 miles for the week."

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