The Cycle Effect teaching kids to get back up (column) | VailDaily.com

The Cycle Effect teaching kids to get back up (column)

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society

On Thursday, June 28, during a glorious evening at Larkspur Restaurant in Golden Peak, The Cycle Effect raised funds to change the lives of young women and girls.

Founded by fitness professional and coach Brett Donelson, The Cycle Effect empowers young women through mountain biking to create brighter futures and stronger communities, using the mountain bike as a tool for the education and empowerment, teaching them the importance of goal setting, nutrition, fitness and college readiness.

Donelson greeted guests and described what The Cycle Effect is all about.

"We help girls get on bikes and help them go to college. Most importantly, we provide 80 days of programming a year with coaches. We give them a lifestyle," he said. "Their families are changing because of our programming. We help them with their college scholarship applications and admissions process and we help them find jobs. As of today, 100 percent of our participants have gone to college. An exciting milestone for us is that we just celebrated our fifth birthday. We are very fortunate to be here."

Donelson thanked his board of directors, volunteers, staff and, in particular, development director Vicki Flynn.

"She works tirelessly on this event and helps lead the entire organization, and we simply could not do it without her," he said.

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Donelson thanked the evening's hosts Susan and Harry Frampton, Cherry and Dan Gallagher and Susan and Gary Rosenbach.

"We appreciate their time, believing in us and our efforts and believing in this event," Donelson said.

'This Team'

A member of The Cycle Effect Team addressed the crowd.

"This team has impacted my life strongly and changed the way I challenge myself when it comes to trying new things. This team has shaped the young leader that I am today," said Anamaria Montes, a sophomore at Vail Christian High School who has been a member of The Cycle Effect for three years. "My little sister wants to join the team despite her fear of falling off a bike and getting hurt. I told her that she needs to see that life is like mountain biking, you are going to fall because it is not easy. In order to improve, you need to get up and try again. She is very inspired and will join the team next year."

Paulina shared that The Cycle Effect has helped her get out of her comfort zone, accomplish goals, meet new friends, gain confidence and improve her grades in school. She shared that she spends more time outdoors and exercises more with her family.

For more information on volunteering, events and ways to support, visit http://www.thecycleeffect.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local that covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.