California Classic will benefit non-profits

FRESNO, Calif.

The Chaffee Zoo will be the most entertaining stretch of the race. Runners can catch a glimpse of Sena the baby giraffe.

Some of the race proceeds will benefit the new sea lion cove which now under construction so the California Classic will make the donor wall here.

Adrienne Castro of the Chaffee Zoo said, "The folks registering on line through the agency can make a donation through the zoo also so again, having about 3,000 people coming through the zoo in the race even though they're coming really fast it's still great exposure for us."

The California Classic race is dedicated to Chowchilla native Crystel Stanford, who crashed on her bike during last year's race.

Race organizer Mike Herman said, "We unfortunately had an accidental death last year. Crystel Stanford died on one of our rides last year. Wonderful, wonderful lady. She donated 8 of her organs to the California organ donor program."

The race also benefit "Crystel's Gift," part of a push by Team Donate Life to raise $100,000.

Melanie Spigelmyre is part of an 8-person Fresno team which will take part in the Race Across America next month. She said, "Through the Rockies, through the Appalachians you can't ask for anything better than that and to know that we're doing it all for Crystel and organ donors and transplantation. Crystel was awesome. She probably accomplished more things in her 29 years than any of us."

Spigelmyre knows first-hand the hazards of mountain cycling. She was hit by a cow while training in March.

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