Alpine takes the high road

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY - The 80 bicyclists who participated in Alpine Home Medical Equipment's "Ride for a Reason" in August didn't need to look far for inspiration.

Tierra Talbot, an 18-year-old girl who benefited from last year's ride, was there to cheer them on.

"Tierra and her mom came, and her mom spoke to the group about how the wheelchair Tierra got made it possible for her to go to Disneyland and take college classes," said Jay Broadbent, Alpine's president. "It was a great way to start the day."

The ride, in its second year, raises money to provide children with new wheelchairs. Last year, Alpine raised $10,000 and provided Talbot and one other child with wheelchairs.

This year, Alpine raised about $8,500. It plans to provide wheelchairs to a child with arthrogriposis multiplex congenital, a rare congenital disorder characterized by multiple joint contractures; and a child with muscular dystrophy. Both were recommended by the local Shriners Hospital for Children.

"There are some families that fall through the cracks," Broadbent said. "This is our way of trying to help them out."

The money is raised through registration fees ($30 per cyclist), sponsorships and general donations. Alpine covers the administrative costs of the race.

Broadbent participated in the ride, traversing 80 miles and climbing 6,400 feet, but he credits several of his employees who are "avid cyclists" with coming up with the idea.

"I am responsible," joked Jason Winzeler, a rehab and mobility specialist for Alpine. "It started out as organizing rides with therapists and doctors, but since Jay is so big on giving back, it evolved into fundraising."