Cruise for a Cause honors memory of little Robbie Butler
A new tradition kicked off Sunday morning in Granby as the High Rockies Mustang Club held their first annual Cruise for a Cause, honoring the memory of former Grand County resident Robbie Butler who passed away last August.
As the sun rose high into the western sky Sunday morning dozens of Ford Mustangs, Dodge Challengers and other so-called muscle cars were lined up along Railroad Avenue in downtown Granby in preparation for the start of the first annual High Rockies Mustang Club Cruise for a Cause. The event was hosted by the Granby Chamber of Commerce and presented by the recently formed High Rockies Mustang Club, based in Granby.
Sunday’s event officially began shortly after 11 a.m. as drivers and riders rolled west through town on their way to the top of the continental divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. From Rocky Mountain National Park cruise participants headed south on Highway 7 rolling past Allenspark and Ward before turning east at Nederland to head down Highway 119 to Boulder. The cruise officially ended at the Stein Brewing Company facility in Boulder.
Organizers said they expected the roughly 117-mile cruise to last approximately four hours. Funds raised during the event will be donated to Cure ATRT Now, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research seeking a cure for AT/RT, a type of rare cancer that produces fast-growing tumors typically on the brain or spinal cord.
Local citizen Andrea Fawkes, who helped spearhead the creation of both the Mustang Club and the Cruise for a Cause, explained the thinking behind the first annual event.
“Today’s purpose is to honor Robbie (Butler),” Fawkes said. “He was a big part of this community. We want to raise awareness and money for the Cure for AT/RT, which is what Robbie had.”
Fawkes’ comments were a reference to Robbie Butler, a local boy who at just five years old passed away on Aug. 6, 2017 after a multi-year battle with AT/RT. Robbie’s mother, Ashley Butler, was on hand for the event. Butler said the month of August, and with it the one-year anniversary of Robbie’s passing, has been hard on the family.
“August has been more difficult than any of us anticipated,” she said. “I’m not sure how much you can anticipate how it will affect you, but it hit us harder than we were ready for.”
Despite the emotional period Ashley and the rest of the Butler family are going through Sunday’s event helped assuage painful feelings as dozens of community members and state residents turned out to honor the memory of little Robbie.
“We love that so many people want to do things in his name,” Ashley said with tears welling in her eyes. “It means a lot that he meant so much to so many people. We are so appreciative of everything everyone has done and continues to do.”
Fawkes said the High Rockies Mustang Club plans to hold follow on Cruises for a Cause each summer and while the funds raised by the event may go to different charitable organizations in future years the event will always be held “in honor of Robbie”.
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Grand Lake is still standing one year after the East Troublesome Fire, and the town celebrated the people who helped make that happen on Saturday.