On Saturday, July 19, 10 Team Compassion cyclists participated in the 25th annual Children’s Hospital Colorado Courage Classic, a nearly 200-mile bike ride to raise funds and awareness for the Denver Children’s Hospital Foundation. Together, the team raised $6,220 — advocating for kids through their personal interests.
“There is nothing like doing what you love with a team of others with the same passion while being able to promote a mission like Compassion,” says Matt Lindell, a Compassion employee.
The three-day event began with an 80-mile ride, climbing 6,400 feet over four mountain passes. Over the next two days, the team covered an additional 99 miles through Copper Mountain, Leadville, Vail, Frisco, Breckenridge and Keystone for a total of 179 miles by bike.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Compassion employees have represented the ministry in this exciting race. This cycling team started with their first race at the 2006 Courage Classic, a charity event they chose because it’s child-focused. As they rode alongside children, former patients, families and hospital workers — all dedicated to helping children — they knew they couldn’t have made a better choice.
“I remember riding side-by-side with a stranger up Fremont Pass my first year,” Doug Carlson shares. “I learned he had ridden for over 10 years, ever since his son was a patient at Children’s. His son ended up not making it. He shared how big of a difference Children’s made in helping the family through.”
It was one of many conversations Team Compassion would have with strangers, sponsors and new friends.
“We love to talk about Compassion, so we take every opportunity we get,” Matt Lindell says. “On day two, I was in a ‘paceline’ with several Compassion teammates climbing toward Keystone. As we passed several ladies, one of them hollered out, ‘Is that Compassion International?’ I dropped from the paceline and engaged with her for a few minutes. She was a passionate sponsor, excited to see that we had a team and wondering if she could be part of it in the future.”
The Team Compassion cycling team grows each year. In pre-race season, team members get together to train and participate in other races, experiencing the connection between physical health and productivity in all areas of life.
“What surprised me the most was that being in better shape physically translated significantly to my productivity and overall attitude and health,” Matt says. “I had a lot more energy throughout the day, and the little day-to-day stresses became less irritating as I was able to flush them through a good run or ride.”
Racing the Courage Classic has been a rewarding experience for these cyclists — not only contributing to their physical well-being but also creating camaraderie, strengthening relationships and providing the chance to advocate for children.
“As I was riding back to my car on the last part of the ride,” Chris Baker shares, “a Compassion sponsor approached me and said, ‘It was great to see a Compassion employee support children in need here in the USA outside of work!’ We talked about his sponsored child in Haiti and the importance of developing his relationship through the letter writing and encouraging them through this process.”
Compassion is dedicated to the well-being of our staff – heart, soul, mind and strength. Getting involved with Team Compassion is just one of the many opportunities for growth and engagement with our mission.
Have you ever considered joining us and our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name? Check out our Employment Opportunities!