Rick Stephens Memorial '70 bike ride raises more than $10,200
On Oct. 2, 2011, Rick Stephens arrives at and begins the climb of Mt. Trelease, the site of the 1970 WSU plane crash.
The Aspens were in full color as Rick Stephens began the final leg of his journey, biking eight days and more than 500 miles from Wichita to honor those lives lost in the 1970 plane crash, while raising more than $10,200 to ensure the 1970 Football Memorial Scholarship endures.
Though the lengthy ride took its toll and Stephens was driven the final 20 miles, on Oct. 2, the anniversary of the plane crash, he was greeted at the roadside memorial by family, friends, former teammates and news reporters, plus local residents who learned of Stephens’ story. The group made the arduous climb to the crash site and held a brief, but emotional, ceremony.
“The crash shaped my dad — he lives in every minute now,” said Sarah Selmon, Stephens’ daughter. “Visiting the site with him gave me, and I think all of us who watched his journey, additional perspective on our lives going forward.”
The 1970 Memorial Football Scholarship currently supports three students, all family members of victims and survivors of the crash: Cecily Jackson, daughter of Randy Jackson ’75; Dylan Lewis, son of Dave Lewis ’73; and Brett Rollings, grandson of John ’59 and Etta Mae Grooms, boosters who were killed in the crash.