It’s been a crazy and tough last 28 days around the office. First the death of one of our most loyal volunteers and supporters, Denver Hutt, and then two days later, the break in of our corporate trailer and the theft of multiple pieces of equipment that we use for our daily programs.
I can say without hesitation or doubt, that even in the darkest hours of the aftermath of these two awful moments for our organization, the outpouring of support from the Central Indiana community has been beyond breathtaking. It’s been overwhelming, humbling, and incredible to experience. This city has wrapped us in a giant hug and comforted us as an organization and individuals as we grieved, processed, coped, and recovered.
All of our equipment has been replaced due to incredible donations from strangers that have shown incredible generosity. We received donations for $5 and for $1,000 and many in between from complete strangers with the most incredible notes to accompany them. Many of our corporate partners stepped up with checks to show their support and I can’t thanks Lids, Hendricks Regional Health, TruTrainer, and others for their ongoing partnerships.
For that, I thank you.
And, as I have reflected on saying goodbye to Denver over the last four weeks; I have understood that Nine13 would simply not exist today if it was not for her. Before I spun off the organization from co-founders in late 2013, Nine13 was stalled without a path to find success. Denver was the one who pushed me to move forward, to redefine our mission and business model, and who spent countless hours with me helping plot what the future of this organization would represent. She told me once, “I support you and Nine13 because I know your vision can help kids, help Indy, and help make this a better community.” Her role at the Speak Easy and the family she had there and welcomed me into played a huge part of me having the confidence to grow Nine13, to expand into PDX, to launch the Ride Indiana brand with United State of Indiana, and to realize what we were capable of.
And for that, I thank Denver. I’m so appreciative of the countless hours she spent volunteering with the behind the scenes operations and often spending time at events helping us put the community on our bicycles. She moved mountains to help me understand the role we could play in Indianapolis and to make sure we executed it.
Denver reminded me every day that it is a privilege to be part of something big, it is an honor to be in a position to make change, and time is a luxury that we all do not have.
All of you who have reached out in these recent weeks with words and actions and love, words don’t describe what you mean to me.
We Are All Citizens of No Mean City,