By Brooke Geery
Ryan Orabone donned brand new Nikes and made four laps around the Rutland High School track. For a total distance of a mile, the self-proclaimed “non-practicing athlete” gave his all, hoping to break the 7-minute mark. Orabone had more riding on the run than just pride— for every second under seven minutes, he’d pledged to donate 5 dollars to Vermont Adaptive. Every second over would cost him a buck.
Friends bet on his success and/or failure, and all of the money raised would go to purchase needed equipment and supplies for the cause. With several witnesses on hand, including Vermont Adaptive’s Jeff Alexander, Orabone finished the mile in 6 minutes 38 seconds. He personally gave $230, and raised a total of over $2,000.
“This is probably the most money per mile raised in Vermont Adaptive history,” Orabone said.
And he was just one of the 400 people who got creative to help raise money over the past month. Due to Covid-19, Vermont Adaptive’s annual charity ride, the organization’s main fundraiser, could not happen as usual. However, calling it off was not an option.
“Vermont Adaptive could not provide the programs we do without the support and effort from what goes into this, our largest fundraising event of the year,” Executive Director Erin Fernandez said.
Last year the event raised $265,000. Despite the shift to a virtual event, their goal remained the same – to raise $300,000 for Vermont Adaptive’s programs and expensive adaptive equipment. Culminating on June 20, with happy hour celebration, a deejay battle, a drive-through donation jam, and more, the grand total raised so far sits at $211,000.
Fundraising will continue through the end of June, so if you didn’t have a chance to participate or donate, and are in a position to do so, there’s still time. You can donate directly online at vermontadaptive.salsalabs.org/makeadonation/index.html, or you can donate with your phone by texting VermontAdaptive to 243725.