Orator Article

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.  

Tour de Kale  is Saturday June 15,2013
By Kelly Bledsoe
kellybledsoe@triad.rr.com
Get your cycles ready and your running shoes on - it’s time for the 14th annual Tour De Kale!  Volunteers and participants are geared up for the annual Tour De Kale events, set for Saturday, June 15 at the Denton FarmPark and in downtown Denton.

Now in its 14th year, the Tour De Kale includes a variety of cycling courses on Saturday morning departing from the FarmPark, as well as a 5K Twilight 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 Tour De Kale was formed  to raise awareness and funds for  local people in need. Elisha Skeen was named the 2013 TDK beneficiary. Sadly Elisha passed away in April, but in the words of her own sister, “Today my friends…Elisha had the ultimate victory over her battle with cancer. She is now walking, singing, praising the Lord; and is cancer free and pain free.” Despite her heartbreaking passing, the Tour De Kale will carry on with its mission to help her family in their time of need.

Please come out and support their efforts!

The day will begin at the Denton FarmPark with the Summit Challenge and 135k cycling events starting at 8 a.m. Other races, including the 25K, 60K and 110K, will start at 8:30 a.m. Registration and package pickup will be from 6:30 to 8 a.m.

The 5K Twilight Run, will be held at Harrison Park in Denton; start time is 9 p.m. Registration and package pickup will be from 7:30pm-8:45pm.

Once again the Flagship sponsor for the 2013 Tour de Kale is Loflin Fabrication of Denton. Chapel Hill UMC will serve BBQ chicken for lunch. Novant Health has joined as a major sponsor this year. Donating $2,500 Novant Health is a very appreciated Platinum Sponsor and TDK is grateful for their support. Team Connection has also joined the TDK efforts donating much of their proceeds making them a Platinum sponsor as well.

For more information on the 14th annual Tour de Kale, visit the website at www.tourdekale.com.

Our only goal is to promote fitness and help others who are less fortunate than us. Tour de Kale is held 3rd weekend in June annually.
 
 

Martin, Shoaf named 2012 TDK beneficiaries

Annual run & cycling event set for June 16

The 13th annual Tour de Kale run and cycling event, presented by Loflin Fabrication, is set for Saturday, June 16, 2012 and registration for the annual event is now being accepted. Tour de Kale organizers have announced this year’s beneficiaries as James “Jimmy” Martin and Charles “Chuck” Shoaf.

Martin, age 54, is the son of Jim and Janell Martin of Denton and the brother of Kathy Martin Crowell, Teresa Martin Parker, Sheila Martin Garner, Karen Martin Pierce, Scott Martin, Jeff Martin, and Pam Martin Fee. He and his wife of 34 years, Karen, have three daughters - Jennifer, Andrea and Tara; and nine grandchildren.

Martin suffers from Wegener’s disease, an uncommon disorder that causes inflammation of the blood vessels and results in restricted blood flow to various organs. The disease has caused him to develop kidney failure, resulting in anemia, and he has been admitted to High Point Regional Hospital numerous times over the past few years in order to receive blood transfusions. He has also received chemotherapy and radiation for the treatment of Wegener’s disease.

He was admitted to High Point Regional on January 17, 2012 and has since been transferred to Chapel Hill, where he is battling two different types of rare fungal pneumonia brought on by his suppressed immune system. His prognosis is uncertain and doctors have told him and his family that he will “have to fight” if he wants to live. On top of his current health problems, Martin also struggles with COPD and congestive heart failure. He is currently unemployed and has not been approved for disability benefits at this time.

Shoaf and his wife Tammy reside just over the Davidson/Rowan County line, off Bringle Ferry Road in Denton. A self-employed owner and operator of Chuck “The Woodchuck” Tree Service, Shoaf first sustained a severe leg injury in July 2011 but quickly returned to work following surgery and rehabilitation. On December 2, 2011, something went terribly wrong during a routine tree topping performed by a seasoned employee, and a 200-pound limb fell from 30 feet above onto Shoaf as he was working on the ground below, crushing his skull and exposing his brain tissue. He was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center but was not expected to survive through the night. When he made it through the first 24 hours, the hospital proceeded with every effort to save him.

Shoaf has brainstem function but no cortex. While he still has a trachea, feeding tube, and is on medication to stimulate his brain, he has made some progress over the past few months and can now follow stimuli with his eyes, process words with blinking and squeezing, and move his fingers and left foot. He remains at WFBMC awaiting placement at Carolina Rehab. 
Shoaf’s wife is employed as an office manager for Gentiva Home Health but has been on FLMA from her job for nearly 12 weeks with no pay. Although she carries health insurance on her husband, benefits are limited due to his being self-employed. Her immediate concern is making her house payments, as bills are becoming astronomical. She is trying to sell the business equipment but must first establish a guardianship with the court, which takes time. She has been told by the court system, however, that the money from the sale of the equipment must be used only to pay off the equipment loans and cannot be used for the house or other utilities.

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.

• • •

The Tour de Kale was formed in 2000 as a way to help Kale Watkins – a Denton native – after a spinal cord injury left him paralyzed. Because Kale had always been (and continues to be) an outdoor enthusiast, a group of friends saw fitting to host a benefit bike ride and 5K run to raise money for his medical expenses. The event was a major success, raising nearly $80,000 in 2000.

In the years that followed, TDK became a highly anticipated event in the Denton community and was used a way to raise awareness and funds for other local people in need. In 2001, Mark and Michael Harris were named beneficiaries. The twin sons of Rick and Georgia Harris were born with congenital heart disease. They received $65,000 from TDK that year.

Punkin Gallimore, who suffered from Syringomyelia, was the beneficiary in 2002 and again in 2006. The 2002 TDK raised $46,966.

In 2003, two beneficiaries were named – Raleigh Ward and Neal Morris, Jr. Ward, the infant son of Steven and DeLane Ward, suffered from Gastroesophageal Reflux and seizures, and also lacked a vital amino acid enzyme. Morris was battling testicular cancer. The TDK raised $50,000 that year, which was split between the two families.

The 2004 TDK beneficiary was Jessica Cook, a three-year-old stricken with Hemangioma Syndrome. TDK raised over $45,000 that year.

Chip Peacock and Watkins were named co-beneficiaries for the 2005 TDK. Peacock had undergone surgery to remove tumors from his pancreas during the year prior and subsequently suffered complications and endured a lengthy hospital stay. Watkins was in need of a new van or repairs to his current vehicle. More than $45,000 was raised that year.

In 2006, the TDK committee named co-beneficiaries as being Punkin Gallimore, a 2002 recipient, as well as cancer patient Jimmy Lanier. The group raised approximately $35,000 to split between the two men.

Devon Alexander O’Quinn and Kelly Lambeth were selected as beneficiaries of the 2007 event. Two-year-old O’Quinn was the son of Billy and Ryan O’Quinn and had been diagnosed with Acute Lyphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Lambeth was diagnosed in early March 2007 as having stage four nonsmall cell lung cancer. TDK raised $53,000 in 2007.

2008 recipients were Sherry Glover Downs and Nancy Towery. Downs was battling breast cancer and Towery was recovering from the unexpected passing of her husband Doug. The group raised $50,000 in 2008.

Recipients for 2009 were Denise Haltom and Chris Singleton. Haltom was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008; Singleton has endured a lifelong struggle with diabetes. The 2009 event generated $38,000 for the beneficiaries.

The 2010 beneficiaries were Courtney Chriscoe and Missy Bean. Chriscoe, age 8, was born with complex gastrointestinal issues and has endured many surgeries to correct the complications of her illness. Bean had battled peritoneal cancer for nearly three years. TDK raised $40,000 for the Chriscoe and Bean families.

Sidney Absher and Todd Nance were chosen as the 2011 beneficiaries of Tour de Kale. Absher was diagnosed with a ruptured ulcer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver in December of 2009. Nance suffered severe injuries in an ATV accident, including a fractured hip, 20 broken bones in his leg, a broken maxilla, a bruised liver, several broken ribs, and five fractured vertebrae. Totals from the 2011 TDK were unavailable at press time.
• • •
The 2012 Tour de Kale will be held Saturday, June 16 at the Denton FarmPark. The 120K and 135K Summit Challenge cycling events will begin at 8 a.m. Other races, including the 25K, 60K, and 110K will start at 8:30 a.m. The 5K Road Race, held that evening, will begin at 8 p.m. on N. Main Street at Harrison Park in downtown Denton.

Pre-registration is $45.00 for combined events - 5K Road Race and cycling; $35.00 for cycling only; and $20.00 for the run/walk. Registration for the bike ride is $40.00 on the day of the ride. Team groups of eight or more riders can register in advance at a cost of $25.00 per rider.

Information on registration can be obtained by visiting the website at www.tourdekale.com; by emailing info@tourdekale.com; or by calling the TDK hotline at 336-313-9544.

The goal of Tour de Kale is to promote fitness and help others who are less fortunate. For more information on the annual Tour de Kale, visit their website at www.tourdekale.com.
 

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2011~ The 12th annual Tour de Kale run and cycling event, presented by Loflin Fabrication, is set for Saturday, June 18 at the Denton FarmPark. The day will begin with the 120K and 135K Summit Challenge cycling events starting at 8 a.m. Other races, including the 25K, 60K and 110K, will start at 8:30 a.m.
The 5K Road Race, a running event that had previously been held as a night run on the eve of the TDK, will now be held on the same day as the cycling events. The race will be held at Harrison Park in Denton; start time is 8 p.m.
Pre-registration is $45.00 for combined events - 5K Road Race and cycling; $35.00 for cycling only; and $20.00 for the run/walk. Registration for the bike ride is $40.00 on the day of the ride. 
Those registering prior to June 13 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a FREE registration. Drawings will be held each Saturday through June 18 and weekly winners will be posted online.

Information on registration can be obtained by visiting the website at www.tourdekale.com; by emailing info@tourdekale.com; or by calling the TDK hotline at 336-313-9544.
The Tour De Kale was formed in 2000 as a way to help Kale Watkins – a Denton native – after a spinal cord injury left him paralyzed. Because Kale had always been (and continues to be) an outdoor enthusiast, a group of friends saw fitting to host a benefit bike ride and 5K run to raise money for his medical expenses. The event was a major success, raising nearly $80,000 in 2000.

In the years that followed, TDK became a highly anticipated event in the Denton community and was used a way to raise awareness and funds for other local people in need. Beneficiaries over the past decade have included Mark and Michael Harris in 2001, Punkin Gallimore in 2002, Raleigh Ward and Neal Morris, Jr. in 2003, Jessica Cook in 2004, Chip Peacock and Kale Watkins in 2005, Punkin Gallimore and Jimmy Lanier in 2006, Devon Alexander O’Quinn and Kelly Lambeth in 2007, Sherry Glover Downs and Nancy Towery in 2008, Denise Haltom and Chris Singleton in 2009, and Courtney Chriscoe and Missy Bean in 2010.
To date, the Tour De Kale organization has raised more than $547,966 for local beneficiaries in need.
This year’s beneficiaries are Todd Nance, a 40-year-old Denton native recovering from massive injuries sustained in a four-wheeler accident; and the family of the late Sidney Absher. Absher, who 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. Please come out and support their efforts!
The goal of Tour De Kale is to promote fitness and help others who are less fortunate. For more information on the annual event, visit their website at www.tourdekale.com.

2010 Tour de Kale A Two-Fold Success Story

By Kelly Bledsoe    Denton Orator

TDK weekend over 170 runners and over 400 riders, sporting various experience levels, converged in Denton to compete in the 11th annual Tour de Kale. Some of these athletes travel great distances while others are local, but they all share a love of this charity ride known commonly as “TDK.” If you are wondering what the appeal of this event is, it is fairly simple. Tour de Kale is a two-fold success story. It combines a professional caliber road race with the compassion and commitment from the community, sponsors and volunteers to help someone in need.


Kale Watkins, the namesake of the race says, “For the past eleven years, I have been deeply involved with the TDK either as a recipient or volunteer and administrator. Each year has its challenges and surprises but the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. This community amazes me by being so resilient and generous. The TDK is a true testament to the hard-working, honest, and loving people of Denton.”


As in the preceding years an indeterminable number of hours have gone into the planning and execution of this extraordinary event. The organizers of the Tour de Kale are committed to making this one of the finest bike rides in the South East and their dedication to detail is the source of success.  As well respected rider John Patterson, points out, “The Tour de Kale plan (in tiny Denton) is akin to a Harvard MBA for Cookie ride organizers.” Everything is well thought out and extremely organized. TDK is second to none.


Chris Skeen, one of the original organizers and past president for several years explains that, “The volunteers and sponsors at TDK are by far our bread and butter. The people in this community have embraced this event year after year and never seem to grow tired of supporting it. This allows up to host an awesome professional caliber road race that features some of the best riders in the south and at the same time support the rider who is just out to enjoy the day.”
The Tour de Kale is also fortunate enough to have the support of the Town of Denton, the Denton Farmpark, and The Springs. These three awesome facilities differentiate TDK from other races making it unique and challenging.


Current TDK president Kris Hickey has unselfishly devoted countless hours to the event and he gladly reports that the preliminary results indicate that this year’s event will be just as successful as year’s past. He emphasizes that, “With the completion of the 11th annual Tour de Kale this past weekend, we can see how big an event it has become and how popular it is within the running and cycling communities. More importantly, we can see how dedicated the sponsors of TDK and the volunteers from the Denton and surrounding communities are in supporting the Tour de Kale. They make it possible, and this dedication is what makes the Tour de Kale both standout and have such a positive impact.”
 
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