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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
Rural Cyclery in Winchester had a busy Saturday this past weekend – hosting a “Bikes & Brews” ride in the morning and a fundraiser to raise money for Kerr’s Court in the evening.
According to Rural Cyclery’s Colin Kuchy, who owns the business with his wife Jackie, the day began with an approximately 25-mile bike ride with about two dozen riders from around the area. Kuchy said it was the Cyclery’s first time hosting the Bikes & Brews ride, which is a series of rides started by Jacksonville’s K’s Creek Golf Club.
“K’s Creek normally hosts, but they had so much going on, we hosted the October ride,” Kuchy said. “We had about 25 riders show up.”
The ride also gave the business an opportunity to open its doors to new customers, who took part in the ride.
“After the ride, we came back, hung out and had some food at the shop,” Kuchy said.
Kuchy said, in the future, Rural Cyclery plans to host additional rides.
“We’re planning more rides in the future, but we wanted to get at least one ride in this fall before cold weather and the time change hit,” Kuchy said. “If we can, we’d like to fit another ride in before the holidays and the weather really hits.”
According to Kuchy, the business will have a more consistent events calendar during its first full year in operation in 2022.
“We’ll have a regular series set up next year, once we can have a regular marketing calendar set up,” Kuchy said.
On Saturday evening, Rural Cyclery hosted a fundraiser for Kerr’s Court, a full-size basketball court to be constructed at Winchester Grade School, dedicated to James “Kerr” Ballard, a Winchester student who was killed in an ATV accident in July.
According to Kuchy, the idea for the fundraiser was brought to the business by a friend, Bryan Hubbert, who volunteered to serve as a guest bartender at Rural Cyclery and donate all tips received to the Kerr’s Court construction effort.
“Bryan wanted to do it,” Kuchy said. “As small as our community is, and as big a part of the community that the Ballard family is, it just made sense. It was a great opportunity.”
Hubbert said his desire to raise money for Kerr’s Court comes from family connections with the Ballard family.
“Kerr was a family friend,” Hubbert said. “Kerr’s grandma babysits my kids. My daughter spent six years around Kerr every day.”
Hubbert said Ballard was active in the community and a model citizen.
“He had a lot of passions – basketball, baseball and, of course, church,” Hubbert said. “He was very active in his church. He was just a great kid.”
A secondary reason for the fundraiser, according to Hubbert, was also to draw attention to a new business in town.
“We’re friends with the Kuchy family,” Hubbert said. “This was a way of bringing attention to their new business and a way to raise money for Kerr’s Court without taking revenue from the business.”
In a matter of a few hours on Saturday, Hubbert said, the fundraiser brought in $564 to be contributed to the court.
In total, Winchester school board member Trista Freeman indicated fundraising efforts have yielded approximately $32,000 for Kerr’s Court.
The total budget for the construction of the court is anticipated to be approximately $35,000.
Individuals who wish to contribute to Kerr’s Court are directed to mail a check made out to “Kerr’s Court” to Farmers State Bank in Winchester, to the attention of Bryan Hubbert. Alternatively, individuals can Venmo donations to Freeman or Amanda Vortman. Contact Freeman (217-556-1622) or Vortman (217-473-7211) if interested in donating via Venmo.
Kuchy said that this weekend’s guest bartender fundraising event will be the first in a series designed to raise money for local charities and causes.
“We aren’t going to go out and recruit guest bartenders, but if a resident approaches us with a charity, we’ll work with them,” Kuchy said.
If interested in raising money for a charity, non-profit or cause through Rural Cyclery’s guest bartender series, contact the business on Facebook.