By MARY KEATING
For the Express
ebecca Rusch, Idaho native, 2011 Idaho’s Hometown Hero medalist and one of the world’s top endurance athletes, announced her upcoming cycling event and recent partnership with Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal organization.
“I’ve put together a little something I call Rebecca’s Private Idaho. It’s a bike event that borrows from the gran fondo trend, but with Idaho style,” Rusch said. “It’s a long-haul gravel grinder meant to showcase the beautiful scenery and quad-cracking climbs of my chosen home turf here in Sun Valley. I’m putting this event together to brag a little, to show how good we have it here, and to demonstrate a little western hospitality.”
The inaugural event is primarily a charity ride and registration is now open at rebeccasprivateidaho.com.
This year’s event will support three cycling-forward nonprofit organizations that are close to Rusch’s heart. The Wood River Bike Coalition, a local voice for trail-building and bike policy; Peoplforbikes.org, the nation’s top-shelf all-around bike advocacy group; and World Bicycle Relief, an organization bringing practical bikes to villages in Africa.
In addition, proceeds from the event will also support Camp Rainbow Gold, which is a camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer. Contributions to this organization will be matched by Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal organization for up to $2,000.
As a presenting sponsor, Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal (IHHM) organization is excited to team up with Rusch for this unique Idaho event. In addition to awarding medals annually to Idahoans who go the extra mile to improve their communities, IHHM is proud to support multiple local, regional and national organizations.
“We are residents of Pocatello, but we also call Sun Valley home,” said Dr. Fahim Rahim, Chairman and Founder of IHHM. “We have many friends in the Wood River Valley and we are excited about serving the local community.”
IHHM pays tribute to individuals that comprise Idaho’s unique characteristics and achievements and recognizes individuals who embody the spirit of philanthropy and have shown a remarkable commitment to creating better communities across the state of Idaho.
Rusch was given this honor not only for her dominance in endurance racing, but also because she continues to play an active role in Ketchum. For more than six years, Rusch has served as a volunteer emergency medical technician and firefighter for the Ketchum Fire Department. She also contributes time and expertise to the Wood River Bike Coalition trails program where she regularly picks up tools to repair and build trails.
Idaho’s Hometown Hero 3rd Annual Medal ceremony will be held on Fri, Aug 30 at the Stephen’s Performing Arts Center in Pocatello. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a gala dinner celebration. Rebecca’s Private Idaho event is scheduled for Sun, Sept. 1, 2013.
For more information, head to rebeccasprivateidaho.com for more information or to register for the world class bike event.
For more information about Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal, to learn more about the medalists or purchase tickets for the gala event visit idahohometownhero.org.