As many as 50 local cyclists, including Boulder native and U.S. Cycling National Track Champion cyclist Cari Higgins, will ride through the steep rolling hills of Aspen next weekend to help provide bicycles to those living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.
It’s part of the Aspen International World Vision Bike Ride for Africa taking place Friday and Saturday. The event begins at Paepcke Park on Main Street. The first leg of the ride, starting Saturday, covers 25 miles up to the Maroon Bells mountain range. Riders competing in the second leg of the route will climb 3,000 feet to finish back at Paepcke Park on Saturday. The route is 1,000 kilometers.
Higgins recently came close to qualifying for the USA Cycling Team headed for the Summer Olympic Games in London. Higgins is well known in the local cycling community as a fierce international cycling competitor. Each Aspen Invitational rider, including Higgins, has personally committed to raising a minimum of $5,000 to donate to the Bicycles for Africa project. The fundraising goal is $300,000. The international Christian charity World Vision is ensuring access to transportation by offering bike loans in Zambia as a component of its rural micro finance program. The group hopes to help improve the lives of tens of millions of the poor in Africa by giving them access to affordable transportation. World Vision will provide 3,000 bikes to those living in extreme poverty in Zambia.
Kids First and the city of Aspen provide a financial aid program to help defray the expense of childcare for working families. The deadline for applications is Aug. 1, with assistance to begin Sept. 1.
Applications are available at Pitkin County licensed childcare programs, Kids First or at http://kidsfirst.aspenpitkin.com/ . For more information, contact Kids First at 920-5769, 215 N. Garmisch St., Suite 1 in Aspen, or email Cecelia.Martin@ci.aspen.co.us . Only new families need to apply at this time.
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers is looking for help to improve and sustain the Arbaney-Kittle Trail that runs from Kobey Park to Basalt.
The trail work will be done on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. RFOV will provide all meals from Saturday’s breakfast through Sunday’s lunch.
The trail section to be worked on is very remote and access is limited to the 5-mile long and rough four-wheel drive road to Triangle Peak. Due to the remoteness of the site, RFOV has scheduled this as a two-day project with camping available Friday and Saturday night. RFOV will provide shuttles for gear and volunteers, who also can come for one day of work as well. Sign up at http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=zaOT0TQo4MVLlS2KAWiqEmxh... .
The Colorado Art Education Association has selected Debra Muzikar, executive director of the Red Brick Council for the Arts, to receive its award for “Distinguished Service Outside the Profession 2012.”
The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions and service to art education by individuals outside of the field. Muzikar was selected to receive this award by art teachers throughout the state as a testament to her and the council’s dedication to the promotion of art education.
The recognition and acclaim are attributed primarily to the development and organization of the Eco Art Exhibition, which was implemented in 2010. The Eco Art Exhibition showcases compositions of environmental art made from recycled and/or reclaimed objects by school art departments from throughout the state.
As the largest program supporting the arts in education in Colorado, the program has involved 64 Colorado counties and 178 school districts. The exhibition serves to inspire and encourage environmentally friendly practices that will not only benefit the community but also the ecosystem. In collaboration with the Aspen Thrift Shop, the council has awarded $15,000 to school art departments over the course of the three years the program has been in existence.
The Red Brick Council for the Arts’ mission is to manage the Red Brick Center as a community resource and to promote the arts. The council manages the Red Brick Center for the city of Aspen. The center is home to several area nonprofits.
The council will hold its annual Artist Tribute and Benefit Dinner, honoring internationally acclaimed artist Rita Blitt, on Tuesday, July 24. For more information about the council, programs and events, visit www.aspenart.org .