“It’s not just the amazing landscape where one’s soul can come out and play, it’s not just the inspirational views that make one feel both empowered and insignificant at the same time,” said Beth Logan, event coordinator for Skinny Tire Events. “It’s a combination of that and the underlining emotions of hundreds of others coming together sharing a passion. For a reason!”
The festival includes group rides along state Route 313 to Dead Horse Point State Park and state Route 128 along the Colorado River as well as a ride into Arches National Park and along state Route 279, also known as the Potash Road.
Established as a benefit ride for cancer prevention, survivorship, and research, all donations received by the festival are channeled into organizations dedicated to changing the world of cancer. Cyclists register and donate locally to the Moab Regional Hospital’s two-room cancer treatment center as well as other regional cancer-related charities, according to the news release.
Teams are invited to attend the festival and can return the bulk of their donations to their own communities, organizers said.
“Huntsman Hometown Heroes, Caring Friends Supporting the San Juan Cancer Center, the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society are teams that have raised $4,000 to $400,000 at the annual events,” said Mark Griffith, event director. Griffith founded the Skinny Tire Festival 14 years ago after losing his older brother to cancer.
“Our cyclists have funded many clinical trials, research, and treatment programs over the years, but we are most proud of what we are doing in Moab,” Griffith said.
The Moab Cancer Treatment Center, a two-room treatment infusion center located in Moab Regional Hospital, has received more than $130,000 in funding through the festival.
“Too many people in our community face this situation; being able to get [cancer] treatment locally where friends and family can be present to ease the suffering,” said Logan.
Local residents are encouraged to ride in the event and to donate. All volunteers get to ride for free.
“But you don’t have to volunteer or ride,” Logan said. “By virtue of living in Moab, you are invited to donate locally.”
She said 100 percent of all donations made by local residents and businesses will benefit the local treatment infusion center.
All cyclists donate, and some are inspired to also fundraise, she said. Prizes, including a new 2014 Cannondale Synapse 5 road bike, are awarded to participants and to those who raise the most money for the cause. A homemade pie baked by Moab Regional Hospital’s CEO Robb Austin will be gifted to a top fundraiser at the festival celebration on Saturday afternoon, March 8, Logan said
Registration for the Skinny Tire Festival is still open, and donations are always welcome to help local residents who are living with cancer, officials said. Registration is open 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 7, and from 7 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, at the Aarchway Inn hotel, 1551 U.S. 191.
Donations may be made online at www.crowdrise.com/TeamMoabLocals. Pledges may be made by texting or emailing a “pledge now, pay later” acknowledgment to 435-260-8889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.skinnytireevents.com or call 435-260-8889.