Bulletin News

Red Dragon Ride Supports Local Scholarships


Members of the campus community who are cycling enthusiasts will want to pedal to support the College’s Red Dragon Ride on the weekend of Oct. 1-3. The deadline for early registration is Thursday, Sept. 2. Late entrants will be charged an additional $20.

The inaugural non-competitive event will feature three scenic rides of approximately 25, 55 and 83 miles on Saturday, Oct. 2, and two rides of 40 and 55 miles the next day.

Registration is being handled by the YMCA. To learn more about the Red Dragon Ride or to download the color brochure with registration form, visit the website at www.cortland.edu/reddragonride or contact the YMCA at (607) 756-2893 or by writing to 22 Tompkins St., Cortland, NY 13045.

Between bike tours through Finger Lakes country, the cyclists and their families can sample the 15th annual Great Cortland Pumpkinfest, featuring a cornucopia of sights and activities in Courthouse Park.

“Pumpkinfest is a nice event that brings a lot of people into town,” said Raymond Franco ’72, SUNY Cortland’s vice president for institutional advancement. “This event takes advantage of the beautiful Finger Lakes region to bring people to Cortland.”

In addition to being a fun activity to complement the well-known annual Bon Ton Roulet Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, the Red Dragon Ride will serve as a fundraiser for scholarships to Cortland County high school graduates who attend SUNY Cortland as well as youth programs at the Cortland YMCA.

“The Red Dragon Ride is the result of a nice community-college partnership between the Cortland College Foundation and the Cortland YMCA, the Cortland Visitor’s Center and the Cortland Regional Sports Council,” Franco said.

The $90 registration fee will provide a tee shirt, drinks and snacks at the beginning of the ride and along the route, dinner and a social with entertainment.

Proceeds of the event will benefit the YMCA as well as help endow the Cortland Community Appreciation Fund, a challenge fund established in Fall 2008 by SUNY Cortland alumnus David Hennessy ’53 and his wife, Milly.

The Hennessys, philanthropists in their own community of Nashville, Ind., pledged to contribute $50,000 over five years to the fund, which will be awarded as a renewable scholarship to one or more outstanding Cortland County high school seniors each year once the community or other donors matches their gift with $100,000.

To date, several significant gifts have been made that meet the Hennessy Challenge criteria.

Cyclists can relax and enjoy the event, which is not a race.

“People can show up, register and ride, instead of having a start time,” Franco said.

promo for Red Dragon Ride
The green hills and valleys of the Finger Lakes region provide a wonderful backdrop for a vigorous bike ride by Linda Battin, left, and her daughter, Whitney Battin ’07, who prepare for the Oct. 1-3 Red Dragon Ride. Linda manages financial operations for the Cortland College Foundation

All the rides will originate at 8:30 a.m. in front of Park Center near the entrance facing the main parking lot and tennis courts. The ride routes, the longest of which is an 83-mile tour along the roads surrounding Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes, are posted on the Red Dragon Ride website at www.cortland.edu/reddragonride.                 

Cyclists will be offered water and Gatorade at the start and will be provided the beverages and light snacks at two rest stops along the routes. On Saturday evening when the rides are over, riders and their companions can celebrate with dinner and entertainment in downtown Cortland. Those enjoying the weekend on their own two feet may tour the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Traci Washburn, assistant director of The Cortland Fund, will coordinate activities for the College, and will recruit, train and manage student and alumni volunteers for the event. The volunteers will handle registration the day of the event, staff rest stops along the ride routes, and ferry riders who can’t complete their tour.

For more information about the scholarship fund, contact the Cortland College Foundation at (607) 753-5787 or visit Brockway Hall, Room 317 on the SUNY Cortland campus. Donations should be addressed to the Cortland College Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045.

“We’re hoping members of our campus community will join in and support this enjoyable activity that will also give back so much to future students and the Cortland community,” Franco said.