Breckenridge Texan

Bike riders gather in Breckenridge for memorial fundraiser honoring Sloan Everett

Bike riders gather in Breckenridge for memorial fundraiser honoring Sloan Everett
October 18
09:43 2021

By Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

More than 70 bike riders, including little kids, young adults, parents and grandparents, showed up at Breckenridge’s city park early Saturday morning, Oct. 16, for the fifth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride, which benefits local volunteer fire departments.

After the bike ride, even more people came for the fundraiser barbecue lunch, which was donated by United Supermarket, and a concert by the Urban Pioneers. In addition to the bike ride registration fees and tickets for the lunch, the event raises funds through a variety of sponsors, who are listed on the event’s official Facebook page.

Jared and Liz Sloan McGovern, aka the Urban Pioneers, performed at the barbecue lunch following the memorial bike ride on Saturday. Click here to see a photo gallery from the event. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The bike ride has been held in Breckenridge every year since the fall of 2017, several months after Sloan Everett, who graduated from Breckenridge High School in 2000, was killed by a fast-moving wildfire on the Franklin Ranch northeast of Amarillo. That day in March 2017, Everett was working with Cody Crockett and his girlfriend, Sydney Wallace, when the fire threatened some of the cattle that Everett was pasturing on the ranch. He called his wife, Liesl Austin Everett, the daughter of one of the ranch’s owners, and told her that she, their children and her mother needed to get off of the ranch. Sloan Everett, Crockett and Wallace were moving the cattle to another field when the fire overtook them.

In Breckenridge, Everett was involved in a variety of activities, including serving on the Stephens Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce board, helping in the student ministry of the First Baptist Church of Breckenridge, and bike riding around the countryside.

The first two years of the memorial bike ride focused mainly on bringing together friends, family members and anyone who liked to bicycle ride. In 2019, the Everett family and the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce turned the event into a fundraiser for area volunteer fire departments. Last year, the fundraiser aspect was expanded to include the barbecue and concert so that more non-bike riders could participate in the memorial and fundraising activities.

Saturday’s events started with rider registrations, an opening prayer by Casey Ragle, a welcome by Elizabeth Everett, one of Sloan’s sisters, and the singing of the National Anthem by Shonda Wood.

Elizabeth Everett, comforted by her dad, Jim Everett, talks about her brother, Sloan Everett, in the opening ceremony of the memorial bike ride Saturday morning in the Breckenridge city park. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

“I usually cannot talk about Sloan without being in tears; I don’t think it’s going to matter how many years go by,” Elizabeth said in an emotion-filled speech. “I just want to let you all know that I’m excited to kick things off this morning, and we are so glad that you’re here. This is the fifth annual event that we have been doing in honor of Sloan and in honor of our local volunteer fire departments, and we’re just thrilled that you’re here. You are the reason that we continue to do this, and it’s made possible because of your contributions.”

She talked about Sloan’s life, his faith and his legacy. “I just want you all to know that Sloan was a wonderful man of God,” Elizabeth said. “He was enthusiastic about Christ, and he put his whole heart into each endeavor he pursued.”

Teresa Everett, Sloan’s mom, said that she enjoys getting to see family and friends and Sloan’s college friends, who come for the event, but that it can still be a difficult day due to the reasons behind the event. “Every year has been easier, but it’s like a good, hard day,” she said. “I mean, it’s good and we’re grateful. But then every once a while, oh, gosh, you know what it’s all about…it’s hard.”

The volunteer fire departments, as well as the Breckenridge Fire Department, have become involved, assisting with activities such as putting up the banner in the park and providing traffic control along the ride routes. The Breckenridge Police Department and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office also help with the event.

Bike riders make their way up the hill, from the Breckenridge city park into downtown, on Saturday morning. The annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride raises funds for area volunteer fire departments. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Bike riders take off from the starting line in the fifth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride on Saturday morning. The event includes a barbecue lunch and concert. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

To see more photos from the fifth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery

 


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