by nathan oster
Shell Hall was hopping on Saturday night, as riders who had pedaled 68 miles earlier in the day mingled with community members and tore up the dance floor during another hard-charging performance by the band Wylie & the Wild West!
The featured act of the People Everywhere Are Kind & Sharing (PEAKS) to Conga fundraiser for the second straight year, the band played far beyond the two hours it was contractually obligated to perform.
“The people loved Wylie, and he was so happy to be there,” said Laurie Parker, organizer of the event.
The PEAKS organization lends a helping hand to cancer patients living throughout the Big Horn Basin who must travel for treatments. Usually that help takes the form of a gas card, but it has also been known to help by providing money for groceries and lodging.
As of Monday, Parker was still awaiting the final numbers for this year.
It won’t come close to matching the 2016 event, which raised a record $36,000 for PEAKS.
But whatever it ends up being will help, said Parker.
“I’m hoping for $20,000 … and if it’s more, it’ll be a nice surprise,” she said.
The fully-supported bicycle ride began in Cody at 7 a.m. Eighty three riders were registered; that, too, was down slightly from last year. By mid-morning, many were already either in or nearing Shell.
Everyone who started finished, Parker said. “I heard nothing but positive stuff,” said Parker. “A lot of the out-of-staters said they will do it again next year — and bring friends, so that’s wonderful.”
A silent auction was held in conjunction with the band’s performance.
Sherri Wilkinson “did an amazing job putting it all together,” said Parker. “In fact, it was probably a record year as far as that was concerned. People are so generous, we had some great items, and Sherri had it very well organized.”
Among the local riders who completed the 68-mile trek from Cody to Shell were Todd Stoelk, Robin and Kathleen Nichols, Wendy Black Henderson (who followed up the ride by leading a yoga session in the park), Mae Smith, Dusty Smith and Tenika Eardley.
If you missed any of the fun this year, the date for next year’s fundraiser has already been set. It’ll be June 23, 2018.