Logan Community Members "Bike With Brent" for People With Disabilities
On Friday, the Cache Employment Training Center held its sixth annual Bike with Brent, an event that raises money to support job and life-skills training for people with disabilities in Cache Valley.
Almost everyone in Logan has crossed paths with Brent Carpenter, a 67-year-old Logan man with cerebral palsy who rides his decorated bike around the city.
“I think everybody knows Brent Carpenter,” said Kae Lynn Beecher, the director of the Cache Employment Training Center. “Even if you don’t know him by name, if I say, ‘You know the guy who rides his bike around town and honks his horn and waves at everybody?’ They say, ‘Oh yeah, I know who he is.”
Brent has become somewhat of an icon in Cache Valley. He worked at Utah State University's food services for decades, and his kindness earned him many admirers. During the 2002 Winter Olympics, he ran the Olympic torch through USU’s football stadium while thousands of fans chanted his name.
For six years, the Cache Employment Training Center has asked Carpenter to lead its annual bike ride fundraiser because the center helped him get his job at the university years ago. The money earned will help other people with disabilities gain work skills as well.
“He’s just a great person to lead this bike ride, this walk that we have,” Beecher said. “People come out to support him, and by supporting him, they’re supporting people with disabilities.”
Brent is just one example of someone who’s benefited from employment training. According to the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, more than 5,000 people benefit from home and community-based services throughout the state of Utah.
“Whether that’s our work skills training, social skills training, daily living skills, communication, music therapy, all those things we use to help make people with disabilities learn to be as independent as possible and to be able to get out in their communities and participate and to work,” Beecher said.
And the programs really do work, said Brent’s sister, Linda Carpenter.
“They really would have nothing without them,” Carpenter said. “And they really do train a lot of them for jobs and they are the most faithful employees anybody would ever have.”
Community programs are available to people with both intellectual and physical disabilities. For more information, go to the Division of Services for People with Disabilities website.