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SHIELD616 Border-to-Border Ride enters Day 3 with a start in Buena Vista

SHIELD616 Border-to-Border Ride begins today
Posted at 3:16 PM, Sep 11, 2023

COLORADO — The team from SHIELD616 is hitting the road once again for the Border-to-Border Ride to raise money for equipping Colorado first responders with protective gear.

Thank you to everyone who donated on Wednesday in our virtual telethon to raise money for protective gear to equip Colorado Springs School Resource Officers.

The donation portal remains open on the SHIELD616 website.

This year's ride from New Mexico to Wyoming started on Wednesday and wraps up on the northern end this Sunday.

Riders will cross 331.8 miles in their journey while enduring a total of 9,737 feet in elevation changes along the route.

The goal for this year's fundraising efforts is $142,000 to purchase protective gear for the Alamosa Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and the Firestone Police Department.

SHIELD616's annual event is to raise awareness for the Colorado Springs-based organization's mission. A complete set of gear for an officer costs $2,400. Thus far, the charity has raised $17 million for nearly 7,000 first responders across 359 agencies.

Donate on the SHIELD616 website to help law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and SHIELD616 programs.

2023 SHIELD616 Border-to-Border Ride:

  • Wed, 9/13: Depart New Mexico border for Alamosa, Colorado (35.2 miles) - Vest presentation to Alamosa PD
  • Thu, 9/14: Alamosa to Buena Vista (100 miles)
  • Fri 9/15: Buena Vista to Frisco (65.2 miles)
  • Sat 9/16: Frisco to Kremmling (59.4 miles)
  • Sun 9/17: Kremmling to Wyoming border (83.7 miles)

The organization was founded by former Colorado Springs police officer Jake Skifstad, who knows the most difficult challenges of being a first responder.
After having experienced some close calls during local active shooter incidents, Skifstand realized that Southern Colorado law enforcement needed better protective gear, especially when it comes to rifle-rated armor. SHIELD616 may have been formed out of local tragedies but has now become a nationwide effort to protect those in the line of duty.

Armor packages include Angel Armor's RISE 2.0 level IIIa body armor, level III rifle-rated Truth SNAP plates, and Galvion’s level IIIa Viper helmet with a harness system.

The Border-to-Border fundraiser ride began when Chaplain with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Cary Katalin approached Skifstad with the idea.

Katalin had been volunteering with the department a few times a month and had turned to ride his bicycle as an escape most days.

“The one thing that would clear my mind was to be able to get out on my bike and ride," Katalin told News5 in a prior ride. "I thought if we can get other officers out there doing that- how awesome would that be? And then to have the purpose of the SHIELD616 was perfect.”

In 2020, the SHIELD616 team trekked from the Utah border to Kansas, with a stop in Colorado Springs. Our Jon McMichael chronicled the ride across the state. Follow the adventure in SHIELD616 Border to Border Ride 2021: Protecting our First Responders

RELATED:
SHIELD616 stories: The day that forever changed Officer Adsits' life
SHIELD616 stories: The day that forever changed Dan and Christine Brite's lives
SHIELD616 was born out of some of the worst tragedies in southern Colorado
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