Brac bike-a-thon a community affair

The Rotary Club of Cayman Brac held its 35th annual Bike-a-Thon fundraiser with the route taking cyclists from Spot Bay to the West End community park.

At the event on March 11, approximately 20 enthusiastic riders of all ages headed for the finish line just over 11 miles away.

The first finisher was Norman Joseph, who clocked a time of 28 minutes, 38 seconds, followed by Inspector of Police for Cayman Brac, Andre Tahal, who finished in 28:58, and high school student Sean Valentine in 34:41. Finishers of note also included top-place female Dr. Trudy Harper Smith, Wallace Platts, the oldest rider at 77, and Zane Smith, the youngest rider at age 9.

Top female bike-a-thon finisher Dr. Trudy Harper Smith with PP Dhal.

The participant who raised the most money was Janae Scott.

All of the local participants welcomed Norman Joseph, a member of the Grand Cayman Cycle Club, who came over for the event.

“Thanks to former Rotarian Eddylee Martin for donation of pizza for all, and to Popo Jebs for two gift certificates to the family with the most family members riding,” said Brac Rotary President Lauriese Ashman, who noted the event was started by the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac as a fun way to promote health and fitness.

The bike-a-thon was one of several Rotary events this year on the Brac.

“Most of our events are geared towards the family, especially the kids, and to healthy living and exercise,” said Ms. Ashman.

Rotary on the Brac

“Our club was formed with the help of members of … the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and we were officially chartered by Rotary International on Dec. 29, 1981,” she noted.

“Since then, one of the club’s major projects was the funding and construction of the one and only public library on the island, which was completed in 1995 and then handed over to the government,” she said. “We have since funded some upgrading with shelves and other items.”

Club members were happy to lend a hand to a resident in need.

Janae Scott, right, pictured with Brac Rotary President Lauriese Ashman, collected the most donations for the bike-a-thon.

“In January, [we got together] to repaint a senior citizen’s home who had difficulty getting around,” said Ms. Ashman. She said the club had built a ramp at the home the previous year with Vander Built Contractors.

Over the years, the club has had a hand in various other projects, including the construction of the first set of cabanas, recreational slabs and the bandstand at the Brac public beach, and the first water fountains at the public library and hospital.

With its focus on health issues, the club also purchased the first ultrasound machine at Faith Hospital, and held the first major health fair on the island. More recently, the club established and outfitted a 20-station Life Course exercise trail at West End community park.

Upcoming events this year are a kids’ reading and poison prevention day at the public library on April 8, and in the fall, the Fry Jack Bonanza Fishing Tournament with the theme, “Get Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs.” Among the club’s most popular events are the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and senior citizens’ dinner.

Riders make their way along the bike-a-thon course.

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