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Local doctor rides for reading
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After jumping in a cold lake in February for three years in a row, Brian Burke has decided to find a warmer way to raise money for literacy.

Burke, a local optometrist and Rotarian, is working in connection with Dawson County WEE Books to help the local nonprofit raise money for its campaign to educate the county's children.

"After jumping into the lake for three years in a row for Leap for Literacy, I thought that there had to be a warmer way to show my support for WEE Books," he said. "[WEE Books volunteer] Jane Graves approached me after one of our Rotary meetings about the rides I had done and I decided to do the ride and help raise money for WEE Books at the same time."

The WEE Books program puts age-appropriate books in the hands of preschool children, from birth to 5 years, to receive free, each month.

The program is made possible by a partnership with the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy and the WEE Books Community Action Team.

"I got into ultra-distance riding from when I used to do triathlons," Burke said. "As I got older, my knees started to wear out and I looked into a different kind of riding."

Burke will ride 750 miles in the Colorado Mountains for the Colorado High Country 1200. The ride will take place from July 15 to 18.

The Colorado High Country 1200 explores the Northern Colorado Rockies and the Wyoming Snowy Range. The climbs are described as long, but not steep, with altitudes only above 10,000 feet.

"I know what education does for you and it has always been an emphasis for me," Burke said. "Rich or poor, a good education does much for the life of kids. Helping kids to be able to read -that alone is enough of a motivation for me."

For more information on Burke's ride, how to sponsor or WEE Books, call (706) 216-0173 or email