Newly Formed Kevin Degen Open Road Foundation to Hold First Annual “BUM Ride”
In a fitting tribute honoring the life and courageous example of a well known local handicapped biker who rode thousands of miles raising money for charities, a newly formed charitable foundation will hold the first annual Kevin Degen BUM Ride on Sunday, August 12th from 8 AM to 4 PM at Kensington Metropark.
The family oriented biking event is open to children, intermediate touring riders, and serious century riders who can choose routes ranging from 1 to 86 miles. Kensington Metropark will provide the perfect setting for a day of fun-filled activities including a kid’s bike decorating contest, face painting, and snow cones. Live music is being generously donated by The Blues Conspiracy. Bring a picnic lunch!
All proceeds will benefit the Kevin Degen Open Road Foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of those with special needs through biking. The Foundation is helping to provide children with specially adapted bicycles so they too may enjoy the freedom of the open road. It also continues to sponsor those organizations that were so near and dear to Kevin’s heart like the M.S. Society and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at an early age, and despite only having the use of his left arm and left leg, Kevin Degen began biking for charity as a student at Birmingham’s Groves High School. In 1975 he raised the most money for the Michigan Heart Fund Cyclathon and earned the “King of Hearts” Award for raising nearly $10,000 dollars during his three year involvement with the charity.
By the time Degen died in 2010 at the age of 52, he had biked over 50,000 miles, raised over half a million dollars for numerous charities, and won numerous local and national awards. In 1988 he won an Academy Award for the Handicapped and in 1996 was selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The previous year Degen raised over $50,000 on a seven week, 3,000 mile bike journey from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.
“Despite his physical challenges, my brother was an amazing athlete with a heart of gold who inspired so many people by his courage, tenacity, and commitment to helping others,” said Brian Degen who this year created the non-profit Kevin Degen Open Road Foundation along with his three siblings and several of Kevin’s close friends.
“We formed the Foundation because we wanted to keep Kevin’s spirit of selflessness, generosity, and kindness alive by supporting many of his favorite charities while working to help other people with special needs find freedom and independence through biking and the open road,” said Degen who is the President of the Foundation.
For more information on the Kevin Degen Open Road Foundation and to register for the August 12th BUM Ride, go to www.KevinDegenFoundation.org.
Source: Kevin Degen Open Road Foundation