Breckenridge Texan

Everett family donates record amount to volunteer fire departments following memorial bike ride

Everett family donates record amount to volunteer fire departments following memorial bike ride
December 09
18:52 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The Everett family, on behalf of the Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride, donated a record amount to the three local volunteer fire departments at a presentation ceremony Thursday afternoon in the Breckenridge City Park.

For the first time in its six-year history, the fundraising bike ride was organized and operated by the Everett family with the assistance of Katherine Parker Post with Katherine Parker Designs. Previously, the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce had handled the event.

Through sponsorships, bike ride entry fees and other donations, the family raised $35,814 this year, donating $11,938 each to the Caddo Volunteer Fire Department, Hubbard Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Wayland Volunteer Fire Department. That amount was more than a 54 percent increase over last year’s fundraising amount.

“This is really a good moment for us,” Jim Everett said Thursday, shortly before the checks were presented. He was joined by his wife, Teresa, and one of their daughters, Elizabeth. “It gives us such a heartwarming feeling to be able to do what we’re about to do for all of you guys.”

Last month, dozens of bicycle riders from Breckenridge and throughout Texas gathered in the park for the annual event that honors the memory of the late Sloan Everett, a Breckenridge rancher who died in a March 2017 wildfire in the Texas Panhandle. Later in 2017, the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce worked with the family to organize the first bike ride in memory of Sloan, who had been a chamber board member. Click here to read more about Sloan Everett, the family and the history of the bike ride.

For the first two years, the bike ride was just a memorial ride. In 2019, the family added the fundraising element to benefit the volunteer fire departments in Stephens County, that often battle wildfires like the one that killed Sloan. That year, the event raised just over $13,000 total. In 2020, the total raised was almost $18,000, and last year it was more than $23,000.

During the annual bike ride, the volunteer fire departments, along with the Breckenridge Fire Department, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, the Breckenridge Police Department and others, help out along the routes that the bike riders take. Participants choose from four different routes that range from 4.22 miles to 59.07 miles.

“We can’t do this without you guys,” Jim Everett said. “The help that y’all provide is amazing. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all that you do, the effort that you put in — it goes on before and after the bike ride — to make this possible.”

Everett said the family is happy to see the community get more involved with the event.

“What’s encouraging to us is that we had more riders this year than last year, considerably more money earned this year than last year, and more and more people in our community are stepping up to donate their services, goods and time without asking for anything in return,” he told the small crowd gathered at the park pavilion. “And what really thrills me, and I’m sure the rest of our family, is to see the community getting more involved each year.  This could really grow — and we hope it will — and just become something that Breckenridge is known for, other than the Buckaroos, of course. So, again, please know how appreciative we are of all of y’all and your time and efforts to help us out. We’re so glad to be helping you with this, because you guys put it on the line to save people’s lives, property and protect whatever needs protecting. … And we just appreciate so much the benefits and the value you and these volunteer fire departments are to our community. So, thank you very much.”

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s photo gallery from the event.

Sy Mitchell, center, chief of the Caddo Volunteer Fire Department, accepts the donation from the organizers of the the 2022 Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride, including Katherine Parker Post, Jim Everett, Elizabeth Everett and Teresa Everett. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Hubbard Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tom Claybrook, center, accepts the donation from Elizabeth Everett. Also pictured are Tony Smith, Junior Fernandez, Bacel Cantrell, Carl Huffman, Chad Jones, Wesley Duggan, Amy Judkins, Teresa Everett, Katherine Parker Post and Jim Everett. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Wayland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Cecil Ramsaier, center, accepts the donation from Elizabeth Everett. Also pictured are Katherine Parker Post, Chris Houchin, G.L. DuBose, Sammy Fambro, Teresa Everett and Jim Everett. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

This year’s Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride raised a record $35,814 for the local volunteer fire departments. Pictured are the event’s organizers, Katherine Parker Post, Elizabeth Everett, Teresa Everett and Jim Everett. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

Cutline, top photo: Jim Everett talks to members of the local volunteer fire departments and others gathered under the pavilion in the Breckenridge City Park on Thursday evening about the success of the 2022 Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride. The event raised almost three times as much as much as it did in 2019, the first year for fundraising. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


The Breckenridge Texan is in the midst of our annual fundraising campaign with the national organization NewsMatch. Donations made through the end of December will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by NewsMatch, and, if we meet our goal of $4,000 raised, we’ll get an additional match. That will triple every donation given to the Breckenridge Texan. The Breckenridge Texan is a non-profit news website covering Stephens County and Breckenridge, Texas, that depends on donations, as well as advertising, to continue our work. We appreciate your contributions. To make a donation, click here.


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