our Inspiration - dylan connelly

Shortly after turning 30, Dylan was diagnosed with glioblastoma. This aggressive brain cancer took his life on July 19, 2013, challenging his family and friends to use their grief to foster positive change.  Fueled by Dylan's tenacity, generosity, and ingenuity the Bravehearts remain fiercely focused on funding innovative medicines and memorable experiences for families.  Since our first ride in 2013, we've raised more than $370,000 for kids with life threatening illnesses and their families.  

our values

The values that Bravehearts hold common and share with others:

  • Power of Family & Friends

  • Outdoor Adventure

  • Stewarding the Earth

  • Reverence for Nature

  • Fearless Pursuit of Healthy Mind, Body & Spirit.

our leaders

Board of Directors: Jude Connelly (Board Chair), Ryan Grieve, Todd Currie, Bruce Ringwall, Patrick Mulligan, Cathy Case, Jake Olds, Patrick Connelly

Ride Team Members 2018:  Mary Connelly (co-Chair), Chris Horne (co-Chair), Shannon Boeckelman, Jennifer Campbell, Debbie Case, Cathy Case, Kim L’Ecuyer, Nancy Banker, Karen Van Cleef, Patrick Mulligan, Kaitlyn Phillips, John Bowne, Amanda Goodwin, Mandy Gutzler, Jake Olds, Bruce Ringwall, Ryan Grieve, Todd Currie, Jude Connelly, Patrick Connelly

Bravehearts Volunteers: Too many awesome people to list! You know who you are!

our story

The Bravehearts – Friends of Dylan Connelly is an all volunteer, community-based organization that was initially formed by a group of close friends and family members of Dylan Connelly.

The immediate purpose was to provide support for Dylan, his wife Nadine and their three children Neeve, Fiona and Rowan. Among the fundraising events that the Bravehearts organized in 2013 was the Braveheart Friends of Dylan Connelly Ride, held at the Fruitlands Museum of Art, Heritage and Nature in Harvard. The event was attended by more than 300 people. It served to honor Dylan in the final days of his life and allowed his family and friends to commune in the shelter of one another during a challenging time. Members of the community then asked us to make the event an annual happening.  So, we did.

In the years that followed we continued to organize the ride as a fundraiser to support innovative medicines and memorable experiences for families like Dylan's facing devastating cancer diagnoses.  Our 2019 Bravehearts Beneficiary is Camp Sunshine - a truly remarkable retreat and respite for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Cycling was a passion of Dylan’s. He more generally enjoyed challenging and rigorously physical outdoor adventure. The Bravehearts Ride serves as an apt symbol of what he valued. As the Bravehearts became acquainted in those early months, a realization set in that the group members shared a common bond through a number of shared values – values that Dylan exemplified, values that capture an eternal kindredness between the Bravehearts and Dylan.

These values include the importance of family, friendship, community service, outdoor adventure, stewardship for the environment, a reverence for nature, and the fearless pursuit of a healthy mind, body and spirit.

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