Steve McClellan, vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, wanted to do something to support his brother.
Bruce McClellan, who lives near Alexandria, Louisiana, was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and has been fighting the disease ever since.
“My brother found out that he had a pretty serious situation going on with cancer,” McClellan said. “There is not much I can do other than support him. Sometimes, you want to do whatever you can to let the person know that you are there.”
His attention turned to CARTI’s 15th annual Tour de Rock on June 2. McClellan and his family members have often participated in the cycling fundraiser that supports CARTI’s continued fight against cancer by providing the most advanced forms of treatment available while also meeting the needs of patients and their families.
McClellan sponsored a team of 12 UA Little Rock riders who participated in the Tour de Rock in honor of Bruce. McClellan and his wife, Ladye Ann, also rode in the event.
He contacted Martial Trigeaud, business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and one of the faculty advisors of the UA Little Rock Cycling Club, who immediately put the call out on social media for club members who would be interested in riding in the Tour de Rock.
“I said I was sure we could find people to ride for them,” Trigeaud said. “I posted it on Facebook. In less than five minutes, I had 10 people reaching out to me to say they wanted to ride for Steve McClellan and his brother. Many of the members were excited to ride in honor of Bruce and members of their family who were affected by cancer.”
UA Little Rock employees and students who rode in the Tour de Rock include Alex Biris, director of the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences; Thomas Bunton of Information Technology Services; Emilie Darrigues, a Ph.D. student of applied science; John Evans, associate athletics director for facilities and events; Ian Hadden, director of energy management services; Luis Lopez; a student majoring in political science; Matthew Morton of the Department of Public Safety; Melanie Ridlon, a student in the MBA program; and Drew Smith, an adjunct instructor for the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program. Unfortunately, Trigeaud, who was meant to be the 10th UA Little Rock rider, could not participate due to an injury.
Cyclists choose to ride distances of 25, 50, 62, 80, or 100 miles. The UA Little Rock team members rode nearly 500 miles in honor of Bruce McClellan.
Altogether, 880 riders participated in Tour de Rock, including riders from Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
“They put together a very diverse team of riders in a very short period of time, which I thought was remarkable. I’m thankful to Martial Trigeaud and Ian Hadden for putting that together,” McClellan said. “My brother was real proud and very thankful. He is a very religious person, so the ride meant a lot to him. A lot of riders sent me thank you notes, and I forwarded all those to my brother.”
In the upper right photo, University of Arkansas at Little Rock employees and students ride the Tour de Rock to raise money for CARTI in honor of Steve McClellan’s brother, Bruce.