The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde mountain bike race at Phil’s World was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, but kids who benefit from the charity event did not lose out.
That’s because sponsors and many of the 800 registered riders decided to leave their money in the pot so donations to local youth programs could continue, said race board member Cap Allen.
“The generosity of this community stands out, and we want to express our deepest gratitude. It’s a great endorsement for the cause,” he said.
With the money left in, the race organization was able to disburse $42,000 to local agencies, including $14,000 to the Piñon Project Family Center, $14,000 to the Four Corners Child Advocacy Coalition and $14,000 to the Good Samaritan Food Bank.
In 2019, $66,000 of race proceeds was donated to local organizations that support the wellness needs of the younger population.
The annual influx of funding pays for a therapist serving youth suffering from mental and physical trauma, said Rose Jergens, executive director or the Advocacy Center.
“Before their generous donations, we could only budget for a therapist two days a week; now we have an office and a therapist on four days per week,” she said.
Since the race inception in 2003, more than $500,000 has been donated to various local agencies. The race is organized by volunteers, and has no paid staff, Allen said.
“The mission has always been to host a great race and that the revenues – minus race expenses – be donated to support local programs,” Allen said.
Race organizers had hoped to reschedule the event for October, but the pandemic situation did not allow for it. Registered participants were offered a 50% refund.
There are high hopes for the 2021 race, Allen said, which is scheduled for May 8. If pandemic guidelines allow for a safe event, the race may be run in a modified form.
Businesses that donated their sponsorship funding despite the canceled 2020 race were: Big O Tires, Belt Salvage, city of Cortez, Colorado Title Services, Comfort Air Mechanical, Dolores River Campground, Dolores State Bank, Empire Electric, First National Bank, Four Corners Eye Clinic, Keesee Motors, Nice Electric, RC Company, Regents Real Estate Group, Rudosky Golf LLC, Southwest Internal Medicine, Southwest Eye Consultants, Underwood Optical, Vectra Bank and Vista Mesa Assisted Living.