24-hour ‘Boat Cruise helps to bring community together | SteamboatToday.com

24-hour ‘Boat Cruise helps to bring community together

The second annual 24-hour ‘Boat Cruise will take off Friday, Sept. 21. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS— Nothing brings the Steamboat Springs community together quite like cycling.

That’s what Alison Givinish was thinking last year when she started the 24-hour ‘Boat Cruise.

The bike ride, which welcomes cyclists of all ages and levels, circles a 10.3-mile course of mixed bike paths through Steamboat. Riders form teams to raise money for Integrated Community and must have at least one rider on the course from 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

If you go

When: 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 to
4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22

To register: Visit https://www.ciiccolorado.org/,
find 24-hour ‘Boat Cruise on the “events” tab and click “register now.”

“I felt some of the social causes that were important to me were not going to be addressed by the federal government,” Givinish said. “Instead of getting bogged down on Facebook and negativity in the news, I decided the best way to express my democratic independence was to try to do something that would affect my own community.”

Integrated Community helps local immigrant children prepare for school through early childhood education programs while also providing parents with opportunities to feel like they are a part of the Steamboat community.

“We picked Integrated Community because their focus on early childhood education was an appropriate recipient,” Givinish said. “We want to make sure people (immigrant families) have adequate education from the very, very beginning.”

The 24-hour ‘Boat Cruise raised $11,000 last year, which helped fund the Listo Para Kinder program.

Irene Avitia, childhood education specialist at Integrated Community, spearheads that program.

“It helps kids get ready for kindergarten and focuses on social emotional development,” Avitia said. “We want them to be able to sit at circle time, get in line when asked, know how to take turns when you see a friend using equipment in the classroom … just simple things that makes a huge impact on a child’s life once he starts kindergarten.”

Immigrant children age 0 to 5 are learning two languages and going to a school where their household tongue isn’t spoken. If they aren’t comfortable, it can hinder the learning experience. With Listo Para Kinder, the kids learn how to make new friends, feel comfortable speaking English at school and asking for help.

“It’s little things for other kids, but such a big step for immigrant kids,” Avitia said.

The $11,000 raised from last year’s bike ride helped fully fund the Listo Para Kinder program for two years.

Last year’s ride was thrown together at the last minute, according to Givinish, but this year, she got a permit from the city to help grow the bike ride for years to come. With the permit, 96 cyclists are allowed on the course. Currently, there are 36 signed up.

The event has already raised over $11,000, and with the ride yet to come, Givnish expects more donations.

During the ride, Integrated Community will keep its office open to the riders throughout the 24 hours. The ride will end with a community barbecue at Integrated Community at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ve gotten a bunch of great food and beverage donations as well as corporate sponsorship from Rotary and Resort Group,” Givinish said. “It’s open to the public; everybody is invited. All the food and beer and drinks are on a donation basis. It’s another way for the general public to get involved.”

To sign up, riders can go to https://www.ciiccolorado.org/ and find 24-hour ‘Boat Cruise on the “events” tab and click “Register Now.”

Members of the community can also make donations in-person at Integrated Community.

“What they do is incredibly important and serves a huge portion of our population,” Givinish said. “People don’t know how many employees or business are dependent on families that work as hard as they do, trying to ensure and make sure they can integrate.

“I’m personally excited to go ride with my friends and enjoy the leaves and be on my bike and see how much we can pull together.”

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email lvann@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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