PEAKS enjoys another successful fundraiser

Nathan Oster

Thunderstorms and heavy rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of PEAKS to Conga cyclists, volunteers and attendees as the nonprofit organization set several new records during Saturday's annual fundraiser.

There were a record number of cyclists this year, 167, up from 152 last year.

The silent auction generated $8,598, also a record.

A 50/50 raffle contributed an additional $4,630, with the winner of the drawing pocketing the same amount.

Overall, the fundraising activities generated about $45,000.  After expenses are taken out, PEAKS expects to walk away with about $35,000 to help cancer patients in the Big Horn Basin with their non-medical expenses.

Laurie Stoelk used the word "fantastic" to describe the fundraiser.

"We've heard a lot of people say it was the best one ever," she said.

Ironically, the weather that had some fretting turned out to be a positive.  After heavy rain much of Friday and into Saturday, the sun emerged from behind the clouds around 9 a.m. as cyclists were making their 66-mile trek from Cody to Shell.  Conditions for the "Shellebration" couldn't have been better.

Stoelk said cyclists love the cooler weather and many of them stuck around late into the afternoon mingling with the locals, enjoying a talented lineup of musical performers, sipping beverages from the craft beer tent (which sold 450 pints) and savoring 307 Pizza and dinner prepared by the Shell Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.  By day's end, all the food was gone, Stoelk said.

"Yoga with Kelsea Chestnut" was a bit hit as well, Stoelk said.

The only downer of the day was an accident that occurred as a cyclist from Montana was turning onto the walkpath on the north end of Greybull.  She lost control of her bike, fell over her handlebars and suffered a laceration on her face to go with a broken pinky finger. She was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Health, where she was treated and released.

"We're very thankful she was wearing her helmet -- it could have been much worse," said Stoelk.

Next year's fundraiser will be held  June 22, 2024.