Dedication to honor avid biker and outdoorsman takes place at the newly developed Conover-Phelps trailSubmitted: 07/22/2018
Mazie Vincent
Mazie Vincent
Sports Anchor/Reporter

Dedication to honor avid biker and outdoorsman takes place at the newly developed Conover-Phelps trail
CONOVER - Bikers and hikers enjoyed the pristine sights and sounds of the newly developed Conover-Phelps Trail Saturday.

The American Cancer Society and the Great Headwaters Trails joined together to present the trail and honor the loss of an avid trail developer and outdoorsman.

More than 100 people gathered for a bike and hike to honor the life of Don Gillum.

A man who fought cancer for 13 years but never lost his love for family, music or the outdoors.

"He was always cheerful and never complained," said Co-chair of the Don Gillum Memorial Bike and Hike event Rollie Alger. "He was just a wonderful person and to do something like this to celebrate his life, I think the family - in fact I've been told by a number of them that they are very appreciative of this event."

Gillum was a Headwaters Trails volunteer who focused on trail development across the state.

He was the mastermind behind the scenes.

Alger said there are many reasons why this dedication was the perfect way to honor his life.

"Because of the contributions that Don made to our organization, Great Headwaters Trails, his love for biking and just the type of person he was," said Alger.

Alger believes the trail will always be special for the Gillum family and for the communities involved.

"It has an economic significance to both towns," Alger said. "They are both very supportive of this trail."

Supportive of the trail, and supportive of continuing Gillum's legacy.

"We are getting our exercise. We are being out in nature. We are doing all of the things that Don and Sandy {his wife} loved to do," said Co-chair of the Don Gillum Memorial Bike and Hike event Joy Turpin.

Joy Turpin believes Gillum's strength impacted the lives of many cancer survivors and hopes the trail will impact the community for years to come.

"Hearing the music sound out through the woods when we had at the dedication and right now, doesn't it just fill you with the sense of enrichment and wonder and hope," Turpin said. "It's all of the things we want to have as we go forward."

All proceeds from the event will support the local Relay for Life and trail deployment in the Northwoods.

People can ride along this new trail for nearly 17 miles.

The remainder of the trail is expected to be finished next year.

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