Steamboat couples return from Livestrong event in Texas

Jennifer and Darren Robinson, from left, Kerry and Jennifer Shea, Chad and Sabrina James, Dave and Aimee Nagel and Casey and Amanda Barnett prepare for the gala at the Ride for the Roses event in Austin, Texas. The event recognized the biggest contributing organizations to Livestrong.

— Chad James admitted that when his crew arrived in Austin, Texas, for last weekend's Ride for the Roses, there was some trepidation.

The previous two weeks had beat up Lance Armstrong. He’d been cited as a kingpin of the most elaborate sports doping sagas in history. He stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and most of his sponsors had cut ties with him.

But when James, along with four other Steamboat couples, attended the weekend designed to thank the most dedicated fundraisers, he walked away from the event invigorated by what Livestrong stands for and by future possibilities.

“When we got there, clearly all the Lance stuff had happened,” said James, who is the chairman of Steamboat’s Ride 4 Yellow. “The foundation itself was going through it real time and responding to it to real time. We sat down and had a private meeting with (Livestrong CEO) Doug Ulman. He said, ‘There are no 800-pound gorillas in the room. I’ll answer any question you have.’ He sat with us for an an hour and a half and answered questions.”

And what was the biggest question answered?

“How does Lance’s decision to step down affect the foundation?” James said. “There were 12 or 13 sponsors that had dropped Lance. None had dropped the foundation. They are still strongly in support of the Livestrong foundation.”

James, along with his wife, Sabrina, attended the 15th anniversary celebration with Darren and Jennifer Robinson, Kerry and Jennifer Shea, Dave and Aimee Nagel and Casey and Amanda Barnett.

Despite all the controversy surrounding Armstrong, the event was a hit, they said. In addition to a 65-mile ride and gala, the group sat down with other fundraising organizations to percolate ideas.

The 4 Yellow Foundation, which features the Steamboat events Ride 4 Yellow and Ski 4 Yellow, was honored during the gala as one of the top fundraisers in the country.

Since the inception of the Steamboat events in 2010, the two have raised $1.125 million, with half of the proceeds going to Livestrong and the other half granted to Yampa Valley cancer initiatives.

“It was very inspiring,” Kerry Shea said. “Last week wasn’t short in terms of distractions. But what it did for me and my wife, Jen, and it really resonated, the foundation is larger than Lance Armstrong. This is about cancer and survivorship.”

Despite the levity from the weekend, James and Shea weren’t sure how the Armstrong firestorm would affect the local events. Ski 4 Yellow registration opens in December.

Regardless, the group came back ready to move forward.

“I’m sure that people may reconsider where their dollars go to support cancer. I can’t speak to what they’ll do,” James said. “Having attended and seen the level of commitment out there, we’re recommitted to our mission here to raise a couple $100,000 a year to kick cancer’s ass.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

Community comments

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(George Krawzoff) George_Krawzoff says...

Congratulations! You are an example of what's wrong with America and Steamboat society. Ignore the lies, deceit and destroyed lives. Party on.

Zero dollars are contributed to cancer research by Livestrong. Zip. Nada. They don't do it.

Livestrong.com and Livestrong.org confuse people between the charitable entity and the for-profit entity. Where did you write your check?

Lance Armstrong remains on the board of Livestrong.org despite being outed as the most cynical sports cheat of our generation. (He resigned as chairman. Moved over a seat.)

Lance been on a decade long campaign of smearing and financially harming American champion Greg Lemond.

Watch Lemond speak. Search for Lemond Play the Game 2009 speech. Remember he's speaking two years before the USADA brought down Lance's drug ring and the UCI, criminally complicit though they may be, stripped him of all 7 TDF titles. Yellow is the color of shame for Lance. http://www.playthegame.org/conference...

Posted 25 October 2012, 8:32 a.m. Suggest removal

(George Krawzoff) George_Krawzoff says...

Read the official report of the United States anti-doping agency USADA:
http://cyclinginvestigation.usada.org/

Posted 25 October 2012, 8:39 a.m. Suggest removal

(George Krawzoff) George_Krawzoff says...

My sister Mary Krawzoff died of cancer in my home in Steamboat. She was 49.

She foolishly cared for her dog Buck's illnesses and never had a medical check-up until the throat cancer raged. Chemotherapy knocked it out but not the liver cancer.

She took advantage of the Catholic Outreach in Grand Junction, the Visiting Nurses Association and Advocates against Battering and Abuse here in Steamboat. Support the American Cancer Society and these useful organizations.

Posted 25 October 2012, 8:47 a.m. Suggest removal

(George Krawzoff) George_Krawzoff says...

FYI, I've submitted an application for the Director of Government Relations position at http://www.livestrong.org/Who-We-Are/.... The organization can do useful work and I'm not against turning it around but denial is not the path forward.

Posted 25 October 2012, 4:04 p.m. Suggest removal

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