TourdeKale History


Tour de Kale History                  TDK Photo Gallery

  Tour de Kale was founded in February 2000, a group of Kale Watkins friends saw fitting to host a benefit bike ride and 
5K run  to help raise money to cover Kale Watkins medical expenses after a skiing accident that left him paralyzed in 
Feb 2000.  a Denton native . Because Kale had always been (and continues to be) an outdoor enthusiast. The event was a
 major success, raising nearly $80,000 in 2000.Thanks to riders like yourself who are willing to go the Extra Mile and raise 
money for this wonderful cause.  TDK  drew an amazing response right from the get-go and continues to be a superbly
 organized and executed event. Very scenic, awesome support, good lunch. All Riders Welcome.
 A Fund-raising event for hardship medical cases in the Denton NC community raising over $50,000.00 ea year. 
Chris Skeen pres. 2000 
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2001 TDK gang joined forces to help not only Kale but another Denton Family who can use our support.In 2001 we
 decided to include the Ricky Harris family as recipients of the benefits of the TDK.Mark and Michael Harris,twins of 
Denton,were born with a congenital heart disease.Their hospital bills are astronomical.2001 TDK raised $65,000. 
Chris Skeen pres. 2001
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 2002 TourDeKale non-profit benefit: Leslie"Punkin"Gallimore 
Punkin was diagnosed with a spinal disorder,called syringomyelia,in 1992.
TDK June 15,2002 Raised Over $46,966.00
Chris Skeen pres. 2002
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 2003 TDK Recipients: Neal Morris * Raleigh Ward
TDK 2003 raised apprx $50,000.00 June 21! WOW
Thanks to ALL that came to the Event and the SUPPORT.
Kelly Lambeth pres. 2003 
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 2004 Recipient Jessica Cook * 
Jessica is suffering from a very rare condition known as Hemangioma Syndrome. After 19 surgeries, her family is trying 
desperately to save enough money for a specialist in Little Rock, Arkansas to do a very successful procedure on Jessica.
 This condition is characterized by outward tumors, that not only have severely disfigured Jessica, but also can grow in
 other organs, such as liver, kidneys, lungs and brains. Cardiovasular events very likely accompany this condition because
 of blood clotting abnormalities. TDK Raised $47,508.00  Photos.....
Chris Skeen pres. 2004

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  2005 Chip Peacock went into Baptist Hospital on December 8th 2004 and under went 10 hours of surgery to remove
 tumors on his pancreas. The doctors ended up taking out half of his pancreas part of his stomach and part of his intestines
 and doing reconstruction surgery internally.On December 22nd Chip had 2 more hours of surgery to remove a puss pocket
 where an infection was. Chip was put on life support between Christmas and January 1st for a few days due to complications
 after surgery. Chip remains on a ventilator and is having trouble with his lungs. He has semi good days and very bad days.
 He is very critical. Just taking it day by day.Chip will be in the hospital for several more months when he gets out of ICU. He
 will have to learn to walk, talk, and write again. He has a very long tough road ahead. He will also be out of work for at least 
one year.Chip is married to LaRonda Surratt and they have three children. Josh age 14 (boy) Brooke age 7 (girl) Alex age 4
 (girl)
This year the Tour de Kale committee has determined that its namesake is to be the recipient of part of the funds raised.
 Kale Watkins, left a quadriplegic in a skiing accident several years ago, is in dire need of extensive repairs to his specially 
equipped van or a replacement. TDK 2005 Raised $47,000.00 Photos.....
Chris Skeen pres. 2005

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  2006 , 2 recipients for TDK,  raised $50,000.00 for:
[1]Leslie Punkin Gallimore was diagnosed with a spinal disorder,called syringomyelia,in 1992 - Tour de Kale 2002 was for
 Punkin and he Needs TDK and your help again in 2006. He lives in Denton.
[2] JIMMY LANIER AGE - 49 
WIFE - FRANCES CHILDREN - 4 ( 29,28,23,15 )

LIVES IN TIlE NEW HOPE COMMUNITY - ALL HIS LIFE

WORKED AT BLACK &; DECKER UNTIL IT CLOSED WORKED AS TRUCK DRIVER

JIMMY WENT TO DOCTOR WITH A KIDNEY STONE (SEVERAL KIDNEY STONES PRIOR) 
AND FOUND CANCER   Photos.....
Derrick Skeen pres. 2006
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 2007 
Beneficiary - Devon Alexander O'Quinn
Birth Date - 5/25/2004
Parents: Billy & Ryan O'Quinn
Brothers/Sisters: Justin, Chloe, and Luke
Diagnosed With Acute Lyphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Was in/out of the hospital during the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007. Has had multiple spinal taps and bone marrow
 removals. They blast his spinal fluid with chemotherapy once per week. He has to take chemo orally by day. Is on high
 dosage of steroids. 

After 1 month of treatment, his Leukemia is in remission. He is in the third stage of treatments and will have to go one time 
per week for the next three years for treatment in at WFU Baptist Brenner's Children Center.

UPDATE: April 15, 2007
Remember Devon in prayer. He has been back in the hospital with an infection. Any type of infection can give him a setback
. He is back home now and doing well. Keep this family in your thoughts and prayers. 
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Beneficiary: Kelly Lambeth , Married to Kenneth Lambeth - Son is Brock Jester - Local Hair Stylist - Former Tour de Kale 
President

Diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Small Cell Lung Cancer with metastasis in the bone and brain, …whole body disease.

Mrs. Kelly Lambeth, 44, of 285 Cranford Road, Denton, died Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at The Cancer Treatment Centers of
 America in Tulsa, OK.

Born November 5, 1962, in Davidson County, NC, Mrs. Lambeth was the daughter of the late Herbert and Linda Carol
 Fergerson. She was a hairdresser and enjoyed fishing. She was a loving wife, mother and “Maw-Maw” and was the
 “Number One” baseball fan for her family. 
Scott Yates pres. 2007
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 2008 - TourdeKale 2008 ride photos   -  5k run photos

Sherry Glover Down is one of Tour de Kale recipients for 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 7, 2008.
 She is undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy three weeks apart to shrink the tumor before having a mastectomy. 
An implanted port has been placed for the administration of chemotherapy and a PET scan revealed two suspicious lymph
 nodes. A biopsy of the lymph nodes will be done when the mastectomy is performed. Surgery will be followed with
 additional chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Sherry has driven a truck for nineteen years and is employed with Anderson Trucking. According to her physician she 
will not be able to work for at least a year. After taking twelve weeks of family/medical leave the company will no longer 
pay for her medical insurance. She has many bills to pay i.e., medical co pays, health insurance premiums, groceries, utilities,
 rent, etc. 
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Nancy Towery is one of Tour de Kale recipients for 2008, Nancy has been a volunteer worker of TDK for 8 yrs. since the
 beginning in 2000. She helps operate a rest stop for TDK, representing Wesleyan Child Development Center where she
 has been the Director since it’s opening in 1995. Half of the proceeds from TDK will go to Nancy to help pay off out
 standing Hospital and Doctor bills from her late husband Doug, who died suddenly in 2007 with no medical insurance.
Kale Watkins pres. 2008  TDK raised $50,000.00                                     
in Memory of Ervin Watkins, June 28,1947 - Jan 13, 2008 - Ervin Watkins Memorials may be made to the 
Tour de Kale Fund, c/o Sheri Skeen, 726 Mountain Shore Drive, Denton, NC 27239    Ervin Watkins Tribute photos
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2009  Chris Singleton 1 of TourDeKale 2009 Recipients  Photo Gallery

     Did you ever think that hard work and paying your way would work against you? That seems to be what has happened 
to my brother. Although having juvenile diabetes Chris has worked since he was 15years old and many of those years he
 worked 2 jobs. Until Oct 07 he worked in maintentance and traveled and worked 16 hour days 7 days a week. He begin 
having trouble with his eyes and in October of 07 he was to have surgery to help prevent losing much of his sight he was to
 be out of work a week, he has never been able to return to work. That 1 surgery has lead to numerous surgeries and now he
 has been labeled legally blind. Chris had short term disablity with his job but they did not offer long term, so once that 
benefit ran out he was faced with no job, no income and no insurance and mounting dr. bills and many monthly prescriptions 
to fill. With Dr.'s encouragement we filed for permanent disablity for Chris. In the meantime we approached many avenues 
for him to get help, he sold his vehicle to help pay bills and I was fortunate enough to be able to help him for the year he was
 without income. I had contacted our congressman and he was working on Chris's disability case and we just prayed. On
 September of 08 I received a phone call from congressman Cobles secretary,Chris had been approved for permanent
 disability.In only 9 months and no court hearing, this is unheard of.Tell me prayer doesn't work. I was also told he would be
 receiving a medicaid card.Wow prescriptions filled for a mere 3 dollars. As told he received his card and his monthly check.
    A simple letter has now changed everything. His disabilty check is based on how much Chris paid in and because he had 
worked like he did and earned what he earned he now draws to much money to be eligable for medicaid and can not be 
considered for medicare for 2 years. this is how he  views that working hard for so many years is now hurting him. Chris 
draws a check of 1,100 a month but just his prescriptions and supplies for his insulin pump costs 2,457 a month,this is not 
including his 2-4 Dr. visits a week or the surgeries he has to have which have averaged 1 a month nor does this count for the
 many vitamins supplements and supplies he has to have for the complications that have emerged from the diabetes.
     Chris has always been a good person but in March of 08 he comitted his life to God and has reached out to help so many
 people less fortunate than he is. God shut the bad doors that was in his life and has opened many new doors for him. And
 we know that God will bring a solution to this finacial hurdle in his life.

write-up by His sister ,Faith Martin
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  1 of TourDeKale 2009 Recipients
  Denise Haltom was diagnosed with colon cancer last year and had most of her intestinal track removed over the Christmas 
holiday. She is now unable to work. She is on 17 different prescriptions, some of which insurance will not pay. She is taking
 chemotherapy treatments every other week until July and iron treatments every week. Much of her time is spent at the 
hospital and her medical bills are mounting quickly, placing a huge financial strain on her family. Despite the stress Denise
 remains optimistic.
  Denise faces her disease head on with admirable courage and conviction. Wife to George Haltom and mother of Mark 
and Brittany, she is an inspiration to those around her and a well-deserved recipient of Tour de Kale’s assistance.
 by: orator

Kris J. Hickey - President,  TDK 2009 raised $38,000.00
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2010 TDK Recipients    Photo Gallery
Missy Bean
Courtney Chriscoe
  • Courtney Ann Chriscoe eight year old vibrant daughter of David and Michelle Chriscoe.  Courtney is an 

active little girl who enjoys school, playing softball and  spending time with her family and  friends.  Courtney

was born with complex Gastrointestinal issues which limit her independence.  She had endured several different

 surgeries since her birth to correct the complications and has since been in/out of hospitals for illness as issues

 continue to arise. These surgeries are a surmounting financial concern for her family.  This summer Courtney

 has been scheduled for a surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for another surgery with an expert in the field

 of Gastrointestinal complications in children.  In this time mom has lost her job and insurance coverage and the

 family will have to look into a Cobra Policy which is extremely expensive as Single Policy Insurance Companies

 will not cover Courtney because of her medical history.  The surgery will hold many financial implications for the

family, however the surgery is deemed a necessity for Courtney to gain her independence and enjoy all activities

 little girls participate in Courtney is a blessing to her community and a much deserved recipient for

 Tour de Kale’s financial support.

  • Missy is 43 years old and is the wife of Mark Bean.  Mark grew up on George Tysinger Rd and was

neighbors with Kale. Mark and Missy will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary this year and have made
their home in Denton. They have 3 children Cody and Tori (that attend South Davidson) and Cory who graduated
 from South.  They also have 2 grandsons.

    It has been 3 years since she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Peritoneal Cancer. 

The family was on vacation in Orlando Florida and early-on Missy became extremely ill.  She was transported

 from their resort to a local hospital and after a day or so the doctors delivered the devastating news.

   Peritoneal cancer is a rare cancer that develops in the abdomen.  Treatment for peritoneum cancer varies

depending on a number of factors such as what stage the cancer is in, how extensively the cancer has

metastasized and the patient’s overall general health.

    Missy was diagnosed with stage 4 and immediately had surgery.  She began her cancer treatments at

 Wake Forest and about a year ago after lengthy research, decided to turn to the Cancer Center of America

in Chicago for more advanced treatment options.  She has been in chemotherapy since she was diagnosed

 and now every month she flies to Chicago.  The doctors there specialize in treating more complex and advanced

 stage cases.  Collectively her care team helps her fight cancer while also helping her to maintain her overall

well being.  She not only receives chemotherapy but nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicines, oncology

rehabilitation, mind-body medicine and spiritual support.  

     Missy had to leave her position as Phlebotomist at Corner Stone Health Care in High Point when she was

diagnosed and has not been able to work since.  Mark works as a team supervisor at Thomas Built Buses. 

 You can imagine the extra expenses they have incurred while trying to save her life.  She has more than 10

 prescriptions monthly, flights monthly to Chicago (which she has to have a companion with her), food and

lodging while there, and the mounting medical bills from Florida to Chicago and many hospitals in between. 

 Medical insurance does not cover everything associated with this catastrophic illness.

Missy Bean, one of TDK recipients for this year passed away 4/13/2010. Got some e-mails from people and ask
 TDK how it will now work as far as Beneficiary: Beneficiary is chosen by individuals and their families so 50%
of the proceeds will still go to Mark and his family. Thank You from TDK

Mrs. Melissa Darlene Tiller Bean, 43, a resident of 781 Clarksbury Church Road, died Tuesday morning,
April 13, 2010 in the High Point Regional Hospital. She was born February 10, 1967 in Buchanan County,
 Virginia, a daughter of Walter Ralph Tiller and Darlene Adams Tiller. She was employed with Cornerstone
Health Care in Jamestown. Mrs. Bean was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Denton and the WMU
 Ladies Circle of the church. She loved making crafts and spending time with her grandchildren.
On June 27, 1997 she was married to Mark Bean, who survives of the home. Also surviving are a
daughter, Victoria Needham of the home; sons, Cory Deel and Cody Deel, both of Denton; her mother,
 Darlene A. Tiller of Lexington; grandchildren, Coy Deel and Colby Deel; brothers, Anthony Tiller and
wife Jeri of Trinity and Chris Tiller and wife Laura of Lexington; and nieces and nephews. Funeral services 
 held Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3 P.M. in Faith Baptist Church in Denton, with Rev. Freddie Moretz
officiating.. The family request memorials be directed to Faith Baptist Church, 4518 Shiptontown Road,
 Denton, N.C. 27239

Kris J. Hickey - President 2010
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2011 TDK Recipients          Photo Gallery
[1] Sidney Absher, from Denton - Liver Complications
Sidney Absher was a long distance truck driver while driving in Dec 09 he blacked out and wrecked. while in the
 hospital the doctors ran test to see why he passed out. They found he had a ulcer that had ruptured and he lost
a lot of blood.More test showed that he also has a fatty cirrhosis of the liver( not alcohol related). Since this initial
 hospital stay, Sidney continues to lose blood and has to have blood transfusions. He also has to have fluid
removed from his abdomen with a total of 102 lbs been removed to date. He lost his job and insurance and has
 not been able to work since. Sidney is on a restricted date, he can't eat anything with sodium and must
have very lean meat. A most recent hospital stay at Chapel Hill. Sidney was told he had several things against
 him as far being able to have a liver transplant. Without a transplant his illness is terminal, with it, his medicine
 will be 5,000 a month. Sidneys wife is on disability due to being hit with a fork truck at her job which resulted
 in breaking her neck. Because of red tape her check has been stopped( saying she had been overpaid) Sidney
 and Teresa wanted to express sincere gratitude to everyone for their help.
Update on Sidney Absher 3/17/2011 by Faith Martin Singleton
Wanted to update everyone on Sidney Absher. He has been back at Chapel Hill for the last 3 days and was sent
 home today with the news that he would not be getting the transplant he needs. More test revealed problems with
 his heart and they said he would not survive the surgery. The doctors said if all went well he may have another
 year or possibly 2, it would be one day at a time.

UPDATE: Sidney Absher, passed away May 7, 2011, had battled a variety of health issues
including a ruptured ulcer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. Despite his untimely
passing, the Tour De Kale will carry on with its mission to help his family in their time of need.

[2] Todd Nance, from Denton - Accident with legs and hip injurys etc.
Todd Nance is a 40 year old from Denton who was in a 4 wheeler accident on Feb 12 in Laurinburg, NC; He was
 airlifted to Chapel Hill where he spent 10 days. He has 1 broken leg and fractured hip ( leg has 20 broken bones)
 steal rods had to be put in his leg; Broken maxilla bone in his face, bruised liver , and several broken ribs,
5 fractured vertebraes and a blood clot. He underwent a long surgery on his legs and will not be able to put any
 weight bearing on them for at least 3 months. He is currently at Lexington Health & Rehab for the next 3 months
 to do physical therapy. Where he is learning to do the basics again. His hobbies before this was riding 4
 wheelers and snow skiing. He owns his own computer business techsetup.com which he has had for the last
8 years .
Kris J. Hickey - President 2011
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TDK 2012,  1st Recipient TDK 2012            Photo Gallery
Charles and Tammy live in Rowan County, off of Bringle Ferry Road. Tammy is an office manager for Gentiva Home Health and Charles had in the past years taken on debt by starting a tree cutting business called Chuck “the Woodchuck” Tree Service Tammy has health insurance on both of them, but b/c he is self-employed there are limitations.

In July 2011 Charles was involved in an accident that left his leg mangled and had to go through surgery and rehab to recovery. When he was released, Charles was quick to go back to work and take care of his business. On December 2, 2011 during routine tree topping, something went terribly wrong by a seasoned employee and a limb weighting aprox 200lbs was cut and accidently fell on Charles who was working on the ground below. This tree fell approx. 30 feet and landed on Charles’s skull exposing his brain tissue. When the limb hit Charles he fell face down and this resulted in facial fx and a C1 fx in his neck. He was airlifted to Baptist Hospital and they did not expect him to live through the night and had Tammy call all the family in from out of state. When he made it 24 hours the hospital proceeded with every effort to save him.

He has brainstem function but no Cortex. He is presently at Baptist awaiting Carolina Rehab placement. Another big concern is a decubiti ulcer that he has developed giving him osteomyelitis. Charles still has a trachea, feeding tube and is on medication to stimulate the brain. He has made some progress: Follows with eyes, processing words with blinking and squeezing. He can move his fingers and left foot.

Tammy has been on FLMA for almost 12 weeks with no pay. The immediate concern Tammy has is making her house payments. Because Charles was self-employed he did not have workers comp and the bills are becoming astronomical. Tammy is trying to sell the equipment they have, but establishing a guardianship with the court has to take place and that takes time. But has been told by the court system that the money for the equipment can only be used to pay those loans off and cannot be used for the house or other utilities.

Charles and Tammy are very active in Christian activities. They had started a Drug Rehab Ministry for young men “Grace Recovery Center” and have helped many troubled men find God and have a successful rehab, Visit Charles’ web site to read his life testimony at gracerecoverycenter.org. Tammy is a former co-worker of mine and I can honestly say she is one of the kindest human beings I have ever known and has the faith of God in her heart.

Thanks, Lisa Grubb
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2nd Recipient TDK 2012
James (Jimmy) Martin, he is 54 years old and is a resident of Denton. His siblings are Kathy Crowell, Teresa Parker, Sheila Garner, Karen Pierce, Scott Martin, Jeff Martin, and Pam Fee. He is the son of Jim and Janell Martin. He has been married to his wife Karen for 34 years. Together they have 3 daughters Jennifer, Andrea and Tara. They also have 9 grandchildren.
He has Wegener's disease, which is an uncommon disorder that
causes inflammation of your blood vessel, which in turn restricts blood flow to various organs. This has caused him to develop kidney failure, resulting in anemia. He has been in and out of High Point Regional Hospital mutliple times in the past several years and has had to recieve multiple blood transfusions due to anemia. He also has recieved chemotherapy and radiation for the treatment of Wegener's disease. He was recently admitted to High Point Regional Hospital on 1/17/12 and now transferred to Chapel Hill.
He is currently battling 2 different types of rare fungal pneumonias. Immunosuppression
from kidney failure and anemia has caused him to develop these fungal pneumonias.
His prognosis at this time is uncertain, and doctors are telling him and our family that
he will "have to fight" if he wants to live. On top of his current health problems he also
struggles with COPD and congestive heart failure. He is currently unemployed and has
not been approved to recieve disability benefits at this time.
James "Jimmy" Martin 
(June 11, 1957 - March 9, 2012) 

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Mr. James “Jimmy” Melvin Martin, age 54, of Vanhoy Drive, Denton died Friday, March 9, 2012 at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Funeral service for Mr. Martin , March 15 at Briggs Funeral Home Memorial Chapel with Rev. Kenneth Marshburn officiating. Burial in the Goodwill Christian Church Cemetery..

Mr. Martin was born June 11, 1957 in Ontario County, New York to James Melvin and Janell Hamilton Martin. He had worked in the textile industry and attended Landmark Pentecostal Holiness church.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Karen Vanhoy Martin of the home, daughters, Jennifer Martin and friend Allen Bond of Denton, Andrea Martin and friend Joe Powell of Southmont and Tara Martin Kennedy and husband Lee of Thomasville, his parents, James and Janell Martin of Denton and grandchildren, Kaelyn Bond, Austin Bond, Hayden Kennedy, Nick Kennedy, Kelley Kennedy, Tyler Kennedy, Keleigh Hunter, Katie Hunter and Lucas Powell. He is also survived by brothers, Jeffery Martin and wife Faye of Denton and Scott Martin and wife Celena of Denton, sisters, Kathie Crowell and husband Michael of Denton, Teresa Parker and husband Tim of Lexington, Shelia Garner and husband Danny of Denton, Karen Pierce and husband Gil of Denton and Pam Fee of Denton. . Memorials may be made to UNC Hospital, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or to Forsyth Medical Center Foundation, 3333 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.

Kris J. Hickey - President 2012
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Elisha Cox Skeen Recipient TDK 2013
Elisha Cox Skeen TourdeKale 2013 Recipient.
Elisha, when she was just 29, was diagnosed with stage IIIc breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) on November 9, 2011. She has had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. After many trials, we all thought the coast was clear. We learned, last week (Dec. 2012) that she now has brain mets. Which means that the breast cancer has "metastisized" (spread) to the brain. (hence, mets)
 "updates will be posted at Elishas journal "     "Elisha Blogspot"
Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2013

2013 Tour de Kale…14 years and still rolling, By Kelly Bledsoe - Orator

Fourteen years and still rolling…still growing…still improving…and still making a difference in someone’s life. That’s Tour de Kale.

The Tour de Kale has evolved over the past fourteen years into an extremely well executed and highly anticipated event in the cycling and running world. Riders from all over the southeast mark off the third Saturday in June for this premiere event. Riders and runners return year after year, catching up with old friends and making new ones all for the sake of helping someone in their time of need.

Tour de Kale is a benefit bike ride with benefits. TDK was founded in February 2000, by a group of friends who envisioned hosting a benefit bike ride and 5K run to help raise money to cover the medical expenses of namesake Kale Watkins after a skiing accident left him paralyzed. The event has continued to grow thanks to dedicated riders who are willing to go the extra mile and raise money for this wonderful cause.

TDK drew an amazing response right from the get-go and continues to be a superbly organized event with very scenic routes, awesome support from local volunteers, and a good lunch at the end of the ride. Members of the Tour de Kale committee work diligently throughout the year to ensure that the Tour de Kale remains one of the best rides and run in the Southeast. Joe Hutchins, of Clemmons, NC and an eleven-year veteran of TDK says, “This is my favorite event of the year. I met Kale my first year riding and he is my inspiration.” Kale remains the inspiration for the event and the reason behind the day. Tour de Kale’s only goal is to promote fitness and help others who are less fortunate.

This year approximately 340 cyclist participated in the event and TDK was well represented with riders from over 15 teams. Chair City Cyclist, headquartered in Thomasville, NC and owned and operated by Lynn Staley turned out huge for TDK. They brought the most the most riders with just under 30. VeloShine was next in line with another large group as always.

Winners in the men’s division include first place by Ryan Jenkins of Team Classic Cycling. Ryan is one of the best cyclist in the southeast having won almost every long distance mountain ride multiple times and every road race that exists. He is also an extremely accomplished time trailer.

Second place went to Chris Harkey of VeloShine Men’s Team. Chris is a multi-time National Champion. Third place went to two-time National Champion Scottie Weiss (USA), 2013 Assault on Mt. Mitchell Champion. Fourth place went to Jacob Arnold and fifth place went to Luke Sagur.

Lori Harkey was the women’s Summit Challenge winner. She is an extremely strong rider from VeloShine who has won many races over the past few years. Second place went to Arynn Schloemer of Bicycle Toy and Hobby. Third place went to Keli McDowell. Both of these ladies are accomplished riders and recently finished second and third in last year’s Bridge to Bridge.

The 5k run was a huge success this year with 254 runners up 100 runners from last year. The format was changed for the first time this year to incorporate a “Glow Run” and volunteers and cheer groups lined the street encouraging the runners. Special thanks to Mike Lanier and his Boy Scout Troop, Amanda Russell and her Girl Scout Troop, and Nancy Martin and The Horseman’s Association for organizing these cheer groups.

Peter Asciutto, owner of Vac and Dash in Albemarle really helped promote the event and the “Tour de Kale Band” entertained the crowd in Harrison Park. Winners from the race received a cash prize and a plaque. Women’s first place winner was Jennifer Parks at 20:09. Second place went to Shannon Davis at 20:32, and third place went to Connie Eckman at 24:48. In the men’s division first place went to Seth Utley at 17:59, second place went to Will Mitchell at 18:06, and third place went to Joe Sauerbrey at 18:17.

A complete listing of results along with addition photos can be found at www.tourdekale.com.  

TourdeKale 2014 --  Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2014
Get on Your Bikes and Ride

By Kelly Bledsoe
kellybledsoe@triad.rr.com
Get your cycles ready and your running shoes on… the weather looks perfect for the 15th annual Tour De Kale!  Volunteers and participants are geared up for the annual Tour De Kale events, set for Saturday, June 21 at the Denton FarmPark and in downtown Denton, and you can still register for both events. There is no better way to spend your Saturday than participating in the TDK.


Now in its 15th year, Tour De Kale includes a variety of cycling courses on Saturday morning departing from the FarmPark, as well as a 5K Glow Run that same evening starting and ending at Harrison Park in downtown Denton. All events are open to anyone who wishes to participate.


The event promises amazing views from high atop High Rock Mountain in the Springs for those participating in the Summit Challenge. Other riders will enjoy routes through beautiful southern Davidson County, and everyone is bound to have a good time at the best-supported ride in the southeast.


Included in all routes options is a minimum of at least one rest stop. Most routes have stops every 12-15 miles; FULL SAG Wagon support; motorcycle escorts; professional timing system available to all riders on all routes; all major intersections staffed by local fire departments for traffic control; ice cold beverages and ice cold towels handed out at rest stops and at the finish line to all riders; all participants receive free meal ticket for BBQ pork or chicken cooked onsite; all participants receive a free Tour de Kale T-shirt; group rates for teams or groups of 8 or more; and riders in the 135k Summit Challenge get the chance to climb one of the hardest and steepest grades East of North Wilkesboro.


In addition, this year TDK organizers have thrown in a couple more turns, and an extra hill or two in the Summit Challenge route and a few more miles (about 10) into the front of the ride to make it a little more exciting getting to the base of The Summit. Don’t worry though, they took some miles off the back of the ride to insure riders will still get back to the FarmPark in time to get that ice cold towel and enjoy the delicious BBQ with the usual TDK mileage on your odometer.


Walk up registration starts at 6:30am at the Denton FarmPark. The 135k Summit Challenge and 110k rides leave at 8am. All other rides leave at 8:30am. You can also register on line at www.tourdekale.com.


The 2nd Annual Twilight Glow Run is Saturday evening. The inaugural 5k glow run was such a hit with the participants last year TDK organizers decided to bring it back again this year. The run leaves from Harrison Park in downtown Denton and follows a trail of luminaries along the entire course with runners wearing neon glow sticks to light the way.


Walk up registration starts at 7:30pm in Harrison Park. The 5k race starts at 9pm sharp. You can also register online at www.tourdekale.com.


Tour de Kale is a benefit bike ride with benefits. Each year TDK strives to make a difference for the beneficiaries and their families. This year is no different. The volunteers of Tour de Kale are committed to giving their best efforts to help these families with their financial burdens. In addition to helping Steve Peele and Wendy Martin, the 2014 beneficiaries, TDK organizers are raffling off a beach weekend trip to benefit the Chad Kirkendall family. Make sure to enter for a chance to win a relaxing weekend at Holden Beach.


Once again the Flagship sponsor for the 2014 Tour de Kale is Loflin Fabrication of Denton, with Novant Health participating as a major sponsor as well. Novant Health is a very appreciated Platinum Sponsor and TDK is grateful for their support. Other platinum sponsors include: Denton FarmPark, Spryngs and High Rock Hosiery, and Scott’s Electric is supporting the 5k Glow Run.


Gold level sponsors include: Chapel Hill UMC, Chappell Tree Service, Town of Denton, Denton Lions Club, The Denton Orator, Deric and Melisa Skeen, John and Margaret Herke, Larry Furr Enterprises, Lineberry UMC, RP and Penny Hughes, Scott and Amy Yates, The Springs, Todd Nance, Chris and Sheri Skeen, Tracey and Rhea Auman, Village Printing, Bethel Baptist Church Denton, and Skinny Wheels.


Silver level sponsors include: Cheerwine, John and Sarah Grice, First and Canaan UMC Churches, BEEM Developmental Services (Anderson & Hickey Families), Steven and Lisa Grubb, Murrow’s Transfer, Inc., Nathan and Dawn Johnson, Scott’s Electric, First Bank, BLM Portables, Andrea Duncan, NH Med Services, Ultra-Mek, Alcoa, Lee Compton, Ronnie and Virginia Harrison, Jed’s BBQ, and Stephanie Baxter Massage Therapy.


Other key sponsors include Sleigh Ride and Run, Saddles and Spokes and Spin4life.


 TDK is extremely grateful to all the sponsors and volunteers who give so much each year. The event just would not be possible without their commitment and dedication.

The two beneficiaries for the 2014 Tour de Kale are Steve Peele and Wendy Martin.

Steve Peele is a 50 year old resident of Denton.
steve peele
He is a severe diabetic. In 2011 he had his left lower leg amputated due to PAD (Peripheral artery disease) due to diabetes. During the last 3 years he has been in and out of hospitals. Several by-pass surgeries have been done trying to open veins to his legs in hopes of saving his right leg. He has recently had a fistula fixed in his right arm in preparation for dialysis as his kidneys are failing. The fistula failed after only 6 months because the vein became blocked. Another fistula was then fixed in his left arm with hopes of it still working when the time for dialysis comes. In Early January 2014 Steve suffered a mild heart attack. He continues to have blockages over his entire body but nothing can be done due to the lack of good veins. So the medical bills continue to build.

Wendy Martin is a 57 year old resident of Denton.
wendy martin
She is married to Rodney Martin. Wendy is the mother of 3 grown children, Cassie, Courtney, and Carlie. She is also the grandmother of 6. In July of 2013 Wendy was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Disease. After receiving her diagnosis, she underwent 16 Chemotherapy Treatments. During her treatments she endured several hospital stays due to complications and infections. She received her final treatment on January 22, 2014. On March 4, 2014 Wendy underwent a Mastectomy. She began radiation treatments in late April and has now completed 20 out of a total of 30 treatments. Wendy is employed at Jed’s BBQ in Asheboro and currently unable to work. Her husband, Rodney, is unable to work as well, due to illness and recent back surgeries.

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TourdeKale 2015 --  Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2015

Gabriel and Drew are the recipients and will each receive 50% of the proceeds from the 2015 Tour De Kale.

Gabriel Davis

G Gabriel was born on May 3, 1987 and raised in Denton NC. He attended South Davidson High School where he graduated in 2003. Gabriel later helped coach the girl’s varsity basketball team at South Davidson.

After graduating from high school, Gabriel attended college at UNC Charlotte. He then attended Queens University where he graduated in 2008 with a RN Nursing degree.

Gabriel has worked in several hospitals during his career. He worked in the emergency room at Thomasville Medical Center. Gabriel most recently worked at Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte where he was employed at the time of his accident. He worked in the trauma center, operating room and emergency room there.

Even though Gabriel had a busy schedule with college and later his nursing career, he still gave his time at Providence Baptist Church working with the youth soccer program. He continued to do this up until his accident.

Gabriel was an avid bike rider. He started a bike club in Charlotte that met every Thursday. Gabriel enjoyed other interests as well that included spending time at the lake riding his Sea-Doo and kayaking.

Gabriel loves to travel. He has traveled to Europe twice, been to California and rode a train to New York. During his travels, Gabriel shared his friendly outgoing personality with everyone he met and formed many friendships. Still today, many of these friends from those countries and across the U. S. still make an effort to stay in touch and keep current with Gabriel’s health condition that has resulted from his car accident.

Gabriel was in a very bad car accident on May 14, 2014. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that has left him totally disabled and dependent on someone else for his every need. Gabriel requires 24/7 care and supervision. Needless to say, some of the care and supervision he needs requires payment.

The costs associated with Gabe’s care are growing. His father had to have a wheelchair ramp built in order to get him in and out of the house. The entire front room of his father’s house has been transformed into a “hospital like” room to help provide Gabe’s needs. Along with the hospital bed, his father also had to purchase one of the medical alternating air mattresses to keep Gabriel comfortable. Because Gabe cannot move on his own, the alternating air mattress provides the movement to help prevent pressure points and keep him comfortable.

The bathroom door in his father’s home had to be reconstructed in order to allow room for Gabe’s wheelchair. Even with the door expansion, a special shower still needs to be added that will allow room for him to be pushed in for a shower. This is something that is currently being worked on as funds permit. There will be many costs associated with future home reconstruction as needed in order to continue to provide and accommodate for Gabriel’s special needs.

Whenever Gabriel has a doctor appointment, his father has to hire a special needs van and driver to take him back and forth. The van is set up to transport Gabe safely and comfortably while he is in his wheelchair. The round trip travel costs associated with one doctor’s appointment is very high. Gabriel’s father needs to purchase a van that is equipped properly so that he can take Gabe back and forth to his doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments without all the costs and delays associated with hiring a van and driver.

There are many out-of-pocket costs associated with Gabe’s care that are small but necessary. Things used to give him a bath and hygiene care as well as clothing needs and special eating accommodations adds costs to the bottom line daily. Although some of these costs may be small, they add up to be costs that are hard to meet at times while trying to also provide Gabriel’s bigger needs.

Drew Hill

D Drew had a severe seizure and was taken to Thomasville Medical Center on Father’s Day, June 15, 2014. After a CT scan, we were told he had a brain tumor and he was transported to Forsyth Medical Center. An MRI revealed a “grapefruit sized” tumor in his right frontal lobe. He had surgery on June 26, 2014 and was diagnosed with Grade 3 Oligoastrocytoma Brain Cancer. They were unable to remove the entire tumor because it was too close to his motor-strip and could cause permanent damage to his left side. He underwent 6 weeks of radiation and then started chemo one week a month, which he will take for 12-18 months. His chemo dr wanted Drew to go to Duke for a second opinion, but because he has no insurance they will not see him. He has not been released to drive or work due to his continued chemo and because he still takes seizure medication three times a day. He is the father of a 5 month old son, Daylin Conner Hill.

Although Mike was not chosen as a beneficiary this year, we are conducting a ticket raffle and all proceeds from the raffle will benefit Mike.

Mike Irby

M Mike grew up in the mountains of NC, Brevard was my home. Graduated from Brevard Sr High and went on to Brevard Jr College before joining the Navy, served from 1967-1971. Met my wonderful wife in Brevard, we were married in 1967. 2 children & 5 grandchildren later we now reside in Denton NC. Worked at United Brass Works Inc. in Randleman for 26 years before retiring as Manufacturing Engineering Manager.

My wife is Fran Irby-ran Papa’s Pizza for years and she was a sub teacher. Daughter Sandy Lewis-Married to Billy Lewis Jr. Her two children are Ethan Amstutz and Ashley Amstutz. Son David Irby worked for the Denton Police Dept. for 5 years works at Thermo now. His wife is Rebecca Irby. His 3 boys are Joshua Irby, Caleb Irby, and Dustin Rosenbaum. We all live in Denton and all 5 grandkids graduated from South. I also Pastor a church, True Worship Church of Denton and my son David is the Assistant Pastor.
As most of you know I’ve battled Cancer/MDS for the past 7+ years. I’ve been on different drugs-chemo for the past 5 years. Each has worked for 2 years or so then it quits. I’m starting a new one Monday which at this time looks like the last one that will help me. Had to have a dual port put in today for it. We went and talked to the Bone Marrow Replacement team Thursday, Fran, my Sister Donna and me. Donna, we are hoping will be a match. She was tested Thursday and we should know in about three weeks. When we end up going the transplant route Fran and I are going to need some help. Along with your prayers we dearly covet we will also need finical help! We found out after the transplant I will have to stay in Durham for about 90 days. Have to go to the Bone Marrow Clinic daily and be closely monitored. It has come down to having this done or my time on this old Earth is coming to a close. But I do know, if I go or if I stay, I’m a WINNER either way! My Lord and savior Jesus Christ has promised me a place with him and that’s good enough for me. Naturally I’d love to stick around here a while longer and pester Fran and David and Sandy and all the grandkids. But that won’t happen without the transplant. That’s where y’all come in. They are going to set up an account to help pay the bills, I’ll get back with you later on that but the Apartment they want me to stay in is $2800 a month and my insurance pays ZERO of that. Did I mention I NEED HELP! $2800 X 3 months=$8400! Once the account is set up, as you can see every penny will help! More to come later, not big on airing my health issues to everyone but I’m learning, we ain’t on no island down here. Godspeed to all and keep those Prayers coming!

Needless to say, medical bills-expenses have been mounting these past 7+ years and with the Bone Marrow Transplant looming we need help. God Speed to you and your wonderful organization.
Mike Irby

Brandon and Mary are the recipients and will each receive 50% of the proceeds from the 2016 Tour De Kale.

    Brandon Boyles

      Brandon grew up in Denton and graduated from South Davidson High in 2009. He attended DCCC where he earned his degree in firefighting & emergency medicine. He has volunteered for Denton & Healing Springs fire depts. as well as Davidson County Rescue Squad. He worked as a paramedic for MEDIC in Charlotte from 2011 until May 2014. At that time he sustained a major shoulder injury, was then diagnosed with Rocky Mountain spotted fever and was then diagnosed with Grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of brain cancer. There is currently no cure for this kind of cancer. After surgery he had 6 weeks of radiation and chemo, and will have to take chemo once a month for at least a year. He has to make multiple trips monthly to Chapel Hill and frequently has to go the emergency room for headaches and possible seizures. There are enormous out of pocket expenses for medical bills, medicine and travel costs.

   Mary Eason Hughes

Mary was born and raised in Denton and graduated from South Davidson High School.  In December 2013, Mary was not feeling well. She had been sick for several weeks. She went to the doctor and was misdiagnosed with h-pilorio. Although she felt better, after many more months and several tests she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in May of 2014. Chemo began shortly after her diagnosis but nearly killed her. Mary has a rare blood mutation that does not accept many types of chemo. She spent many weeks in Baptist hospital recovering. Finally the doctors were able to find a treatment that her body was suited for. After chemo was finished she went through radiation treatments. When these treatments were going on she rarely complained. All she would ask for were prayers. In May of 2015, Mary was in remission.

In June of 2015 she developed an infection in her sacrum bone.  This was extremely painful for her and she was unable to work. Mary was employed at Walmart in Lexington. They were great about working with her during her treatments and welcomed her back with open arms as she recovered but she lost her job on June 30th 2015. Shortly after, her house went into foreclosure and sadly they lost their home. They were able to find an apartment nearby so their son Zachary was able to continue attending Central Davidson High School.

Thanksgiving 2015, she was diagnosed again. The cancer had returned in her sacrum. Since this diagnosis, Mary has had to spend more time in the hospital taking chemo, but with little effect. Radiation and surgery are not an option at this time. Mary has developed several more complications due to the colon cancer including a blood infection. At the moment Mary is in Baptist Cancer Center in severe pain. Her team of doctors are doing their best to decide how to treat her. Her husband is fortunate to have a great employer that allows him to be with her, but he’s not being paid.


PayPal securely processes payments for TourDeKale fundraiser with PayPal or Visa / Master Card / American Express / Discovery
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE CHECKS ARE TO Canaan UMC / TDK FUND
TDK c/o Sheri Skeen
726 Mountain Shore Drive
Denton, NC 27239
TDK, a non-profit organization fundraiser benefit Bicycle, Run and Walk event. 
To date, the Tour De Kale organization has raised more than $547,966 for local beneficiaries in need.