Dorel Sports, the parent company of Cannondale Bikes as well as Schwinn, GT and Mongoose bicycles, recently made a donation of $25,000 in support of building of the next Wilton section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT). Patricia Sesto, NRVT chair (and outgoing director of environmental affairs for Wilton) made the announcement yesterday, Monday, May 18.
The next section being planned for the NRVT begins at Sharp Hill Rd. and extends a half mile.
When GOOD Morning Wilton interviewed Dorel’s president and CEO Peter Woods one year ago, he said part of the allure of relocating the company back to where Cannondale Bikes was born was the plan for the trail and Wilton’s commitment to making the NRVT happen.
He says this donation reaffirms what his company sees in the NRVT–a natural fit for the company and a great opportunity for Dorel to support cycling where they’re based.
“Our mission at Dorel Sports is to get more people riding bikes. The work the NRVT does is critical for this to happen. We are delighted to support their efforts to make cycling more accessible in our community,” Woods said, as he presented the check to Sesto. “I encourage other companies in the area to join us in supporting the NRVT and growing cycling across the region, for both recreational and commuting purposes.”
Dorel Sports has shown their support of the NRVT in other ways. Last fall a hearty group of staff members joined Sesto out on the trail to clear debris and plant hundreds of daffodil bulbs. The fruits of that labor burst forth this spring with welcome splashes of color.
Jim Snedeker, NRVT committee member, applauded Dorel Sports’ efforts. “The flowers do so much to brighten the trail and enhance the joy of getting back outside after a long winter.” Snedeker also noted how projects like bulb planting are perfect ways to make a connection to the trail. “Even with something as simple as planting bulbs allows people to be part of this outstanding effort. You can always come back and say, ‘I did that. I helped make this trail what it is.'”
In addition to providing manual labor and financial support, Dorel Sports also provides graphic design and printing services to the NRVT.
Sesto is grateful for the value of in-kind services like those. “We raise every dollar for everything we do. In-kind services, such as helping us with our marketing material, is huge and allows us to use more of the donated funds toward actually building the trail.”
Building the trail is just what the steering committee will be doing this summer. Dorel Sports’ gift marks the start of the most recent effort to raise funds for the next section. The NRVT’s immediate goal is $250,000 to get on the trail builder’s schedule to build another half-mile of trail north of Sharp Hill Rd. and complete the connection with 500 feet of trail along the south end of Horseshoe Pond. The committee is hoping to surpass the immediate goal and raise enough to take the trail out to Skunk Ln..
According to Sesto, “Our overall goal in Wilton is $500,000 for the 2015 building season. The $250,000 is the minimum we need to set things in motion.” Sesto expressed optimism in being able to reach the fund raising goals. “The trail is wildly popular and I believe this will sustain a successful campaign. We are grateful Dorel Sports was willing to get us off to such a strong start.”
Anyone interested in helping to build the next section can send donations to the NRVT, P.O. Box 174, Georgetown, CT 06829 or visit the NRVT website and make an online contribution. The Friends of the NRVT is a 501(c)3 corporation and all donations are tax deductable.