This year’s shirts for Tour de Gap will have a small addition in memory of a huge loss suffered this spring by Big Brothers-Big Sisters Abilene-Lonestar, Tour de Gap and our city’s community at large. Right below the main logo you’ll find a hashtag: #makeyourmark.
Mark Rogers, Executive Director of BBBSTx, passed away in a car accident in March. Mark was a constant presence at the last few Tours, famous for his “Dad jokes” and entertaining riders and their families while announcing the winner categories and the raffle. His presence will be missed terribly. Here’s some of the community’s response in the Abilene Reporter-News editorial:
“Our nonprofit community is devastated by the loss of one of our most gifted leaders, Mark Rogers. A personal friend, a board member at United Way and later serving as the West Central market president of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mark was a mentor to many and the ultimate ‘Big,’ as they are called at BBBS,” she told us. “Mark had a big smile, spread joy in a big way and cared passionately for children and young people like no other.”
“His loss leaves the biggest hole for all of us.”Cathy Ashby in the Abilene Reporter-News
A special web site has been set up for those who would like to help extend Mark’s legacy by helping the family or Big Brothers-Big Sisters. That site is available here.
The Biketown Fire
In the early morning hours of July 8th a fire broke out at the bike shop of our Title sponsor and longtime #1 organizer and event promoter, Biketown. The devastation was almost unbelievable, according to Jim Macdonald, who owns Biketown with his wife Kelly. If you would like to know more about that event, the Biketown Facebook page can keep you updated. Please note: Biketown has reopened with a temporary store and it is right next door to the store at 1789 Industrial. PACKET PICK-UP will still be Friday July 23 from 10 am to 6 pm at the temporary store. If you need supplies like tubes, gels, or anything else, the staff has done an amazing job of quickly getting set up to be able to handle what you need. Email is still the best way to reach the shop at this point.
Both of these losses have had the effect of making us more resolved to do the best we can for Big Brothers-Big Sisters and to make the 2021 Tour de Gap the best ever.