Killington Mountain School alum Vivien Rindisbacher and 11th grade student-athlete PJ Bovaconti are prime examples of the significant impact individuals can have on a community and on a greater cause. Last weekend PJ led the charge in fundraising and organizing a group of 41 KMS community riders to participate in Pennsylvania's Million Dollar Ride, where thanks to a matching donation by UPenn, the crew raised $66,000.00 for the RASopathies Network.
Vivien, who will ultimately attend Boston University, is currently a pro cyclist who rides for H&R Block Pro Cycling, a UCI Continental Team focused on development of Canadian riders. Inspired by PJ and the KMS crew, Vivien took reins and did his part locally this week, riding laps of the famed East Mountain Road loop here in Killington for the same cause. He rallied sponsors in advance, who pledged dollar amounts for each lap he completed. After 11 hours 15 laps, and 21,000,00 vertical feet, Vivien raised over $2,000 to go directly to support rare disease research, in honor of KMS Alpine Coach Jack Bailey, his family, and his son Shane. He was joined by KMS alum Ansel Dickey for ten of the laps, and by many current KMS student-athletes a various points throughout the day.
Bailey commented, "On behalf of Vermont Rare and RASopathies Network, we want to extend our sincerest thanks for your pledge during the EMR Challenge/ Ride-for-Shane event. Both Vivien and Ansel put forth a tremendous effort on Wednesday to climb on their bikes over 30,000 vertical feet combined. Many hours, efforts, pedal strokes, smiles, laughs and grimaces were exchanged and resemble the parallels between chasing the cycling dream and walking the rare disease path. If you want to make an impact and change something for the better, have the guts to tell yourself you can figure it out, then find a way! These boys own willingness guided them."
Congratulations to both of these young men and to those who donated and participated in making a direct impact on an important cause. Vivien and PJ truly reflect the KMS ethos of taking care of one another and are an inspiration to all.