|Alicia Brelsford Dana handcycle fund raising effort|
Stolen handcycle returns; fundraising effort is shifted
A community effort to replace a stolen handcycle generated so much publicity that the missing machine has been returned to its owner. But the fund raising group plans to continue its efforts to acquire a state-of-the-art machine for Alicia Brelsford Dana of Putney, Vt.
Dana, a single mother, was paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident when she was a teenager. She won the Vermont City Marathon handcycle division in May 2011, and had been in training for next spring's US National Paracycling Championships when her handcycle disappeared in late July from the roadside spot where she had been forced to leave it due to a flat tire.
Her friends and the Putney community launched a campaign to replace the machine and to support her training and travel expenses. Now, ironically due to the publicity generated by the fund raising campaign, the handcycle has been returned to Dana by an unknown Good Samaritan.
But according to Dede Cummings, organizer of the fund raiser, the returned machine, a “Freedom Ryder,” is seriously outdated.
"It's 11 years old — a 1999 design — and would not serve Dana well in top-level competition, Cummings said. "The top competitors in the world and national championships are using cycles that are newer, much lighter, more ergonomic and faster. So we have shifted the goal of this effort. We want to send Alicia to the championships with the best possible handcycle."
People who contributed so far have been informed about the change, and contributions have continued to arrive. "We hope everyone will want to continue to support Alicia’s training, which is an inspiration to all of us.”
A special fund raising event, with raffle prize drawings and recognition for donors, is being planned for Sept. 1
Contributions may be made online at www.giveforward.com/handcycleforalicia, or mailed to DCDESIGN • 139 Main St. • Brattleboro, VT 05301 made out to "Alicia Dana."
The Better World Club offers bicycle-only and car-and-bike membership, including insurance and free roadside assistance. Better World Club offers VBPC members a 10% discount on new membership. The VBPC receives a donation for every new sign-up.