Beverly Kohrs is one tough cookie. Her work for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure event honors her mother who passed away as a result of Type II diabetes, but Beverly is passionate about every aspect of the cause - the community programs, the research, and of course, the cycling.
Over eight years ago, Beverly founded the Dallas chapter of a cycling group called the Tough Cookies. The riding team is open to women of all cycling abilities and provides a non-competitive, fun environment for women to grow as cyclists and multi-sport athletes. In 2012 a friend told Beverly about the Tour de Cure event, and the Tough Cookies participated in the event as their annual fundraising ride. "We had such a fantastic time that we have been riding for the Tour de Cure ever since," said Beverly. And in the past five years, they have raised over $50,000 for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
In 2014, Beverly transitioned from a Tour de Cure participant to managing the event. Joining a nonprofit staff wasn't a big step from her long-term volunteer roles for the Dallas Independent School District, but it was certainly different from her previous 13-year career as an engineer at American Airlines. "I loved my work as an engineer, but working for a nonprofit is so much more rewarding," said Beverly. After a year of organizing the Tour de Cure in Dallas, Beverly stepped into a Associate Director role for the North Texas ADA and is now serving on the national strategy team for the event. And she is still riding!
"The ADA is volunteer driven organization. Like most nonprofits, our staffing is slim and we rely primarily on year-round volunteer planning committees to make the DFW Tour De Cure happen. On the day of the event, more than 200 volunteers help to set up and take down the event, and staff it while it is happening," Beverly shared.
Beverly's family supports not only her dedication to the event, but the cause as a whole. Her husband and children cycle in and fundraise for the event, along with two of her sisters. Beverly's passion for athletics has been passed on to two daughters who were both competitive swimmers and junior triathletes, and her son, who will be playing collegiate tennis this fall.
The Tour de Cure event is just one annual fundraising event to support both national and local ADA programs. Community education programs, national health advocacy, and research are working together to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
If you would like to participate in this year's Tour de Cure in Dallas, you can register to walk, run, or ride in the event on October 14th. You can also sign up to volunteer to help plan and run the event.
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