The Barbara Mansfield
Champion Scholar Award Program
To all our Neighbors, Racers, and Adventure Chasers:
The crew at The Last Best Ride is building an event that works to directly benefit and support the members of the community that has helped support us.
We are designing this event in order to provide you, the participants, a beautiful challenge full of spectacular views, as well as a venue through which you may effect a tangible and positive impact on the lives of the neighbors of Whitefish and its surrounding areas.
As a Whitefish-native herself, and a former recipient of community-funded education award grants, our co-founder, Jess Cerra, is intimately aware of just how powerful the activation of others can be. With the Help of her high school guidance counselor, Mrs. Barbara Mandsfield, and the money provided by donors, she overcame the hardships she struggled with growing up as a financially disadvantaged youth, and was able to pursue her goal of attending college.
In the same spirit of the generosity that afforded Jess the opportunity at a post-secondary education, we have established our Barbara Mansfield Champion Scholar Award, a program that will provide 20 percent of our race proceeds in addition to any supplemental donations that we receive to two financially qualified women pursuing post-secondary education, one from the town of Whitefish and the other a black, indigenous, or woman of color.
As professional competitors ourselves, we understand acutely how easy it is to retreat to the bubble of bike racing; to just pull through and pass through; to take in the sights and give little back. We hope to pop that bubble by structuring our race such that simply signing up to participate means that you play a part in improving someone else’s circumstances. With that said, however, we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE, if you have the means to do so, to donate a little extra to our fundraising efforts. Locations to donate will be at our optional Welcome Dinner on Friday, August 20, 2021, along with our donation page, links to both of which will be made available soon.
The Barbara Mansfield Champion Scholar Award recognizes that champions come in many shapes and forms, including but not limited to athletic champions, champions for equal rights, champions of the arts or the environment. But no matter the cause, every champion has similar characteristics: courage, passion, strength, and persistence. Those qualities are not always innate. Champions can develop those characteristics as they overcome challenges and work to achieve goals.
Barbara Mansfield is a champion educator who pushed students to discover and develop their passions, skills, and academic potential throughout her career, which is why we named this champion scholar award after her.
Thank you so much, and we hope to see you out at The Last Best Ride next summer!
The Last Best Ride
p/c: Eileen Blasi
Land Use Statement
As it stands now, these are our course routes. Should they need to be updated in the event of unexpected logging, National Forest Service maintenance emergencies, and/or natural occurrences (i.e. fires, tree downings), registered participants will receive an email update stating such.
We would like to convey the utmost gratitude to all local landowning Neighbors, Big Mountain Resort and Ski Whitefish, The City of Whitefish, The Montana Department of Transportation, Flathead County Department of Transportation, The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, The City of Whitefish, F. H. Stoltze Land and Lumber, and the local ranger districts of the U.S. National Forest Service for their unwavering help and support in getting these routes organized.