Sharon’s Kids is a non-profit corporation helping children of the North Fork Valley in Delta County, Colorado. It was founded by Sharon Riegel of Crawford. Their goals are to cultivate awareness, understanding and appreciation for the outdoors by sending children to summer camps and partaking in year round activities. The children are typically under economic hardship and could not otherwise attend such activities.
The West Elk Bicycle Classic is a timed tour from Gunnison to Crested Butte that passes over the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, through Crawford, Paonia, and back over the dirt Kebler Pass. The event is presented by Western State Colorado University of Gunnison. Jarral Ryter, co-director with Dave Wiens of Gunnison, stated that, “Paonia and Crawford are such a big part of our event and they are such a great help with it that we wanted to give back to the community. There is not a better investment in the world than in our children. So it was an easy decision.” Ryter and Wiens hope to continue supporting Sharon’s Kids and have been working with Western’s middle school summer camps in mathematics and computer science with outdoor activities thrown in for Sharon’s kids to attend. Look for the kids on course for the 2015 West Elk Bicycle Classic.