I have been thinking a lot lately about our Executive Board, their hard work and their selfless service. The people on our board work tirelessly to make this ministry what it is and to be pleasing in God’s eyes. At the first of the year, long time board member Stan Ritchie retired from our Executive Board and we miss him already. In a desire to let everyone know just a few of the contributions to our organization this humble, strong servant has made, I knew I needed help. Having only worked with him for a year, I thought it fitting to pull in someone who has known him for many more years and worked side-by-side with him through thick and thin. So, what follows is a piece by former ChristianCycling President, Paul Haller, that touches on some of the contributions Stan has made as well as some insight into the character who has led for so long with little to no recognition.
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When I think of Stan Ritchie the word servant come to mind.
I first met Stan at The 24 Hours of Moab. I’m not sure what year, but I think it was the last year Dave Haar was president of the club. Dave told me to keep an eye on Stan and he thought he would be a good fit for the executive board, as usual Dave was right. Stan had just finished the Focus on the Family ride across America and had helped form the Pennsylvania spoke. He was Robb Tarr’s right hand man as I recall.
Stan had come to Moab not to race but to observe the outreach and help out. A true servan,t he slaved away doing every task that needed to be done and was a great help, at which point I think I asked him to consider being on the board. With much prayer and permission from his wife he jumped on board. He did so after stepping down from some other church responsibilities he had so he could give IC3 his whole focus. It was at this point that I knew he was going to be a vital part of the leadership team. Stan was always my go to guy whenever I had issues that involved people. After raising four kids he was way more patient and understanding than I was as some of you found out.
I remember Stan always sacrificing for others to the point of training for the Exterra races just so his buddy Scott wouldn’t have to do it alone. I went to a couple of Exterra races in Tahoe with Scott and Stan and I was amazed to see how much respect the organizers had for Stan, not because he was an elite athlete, far from it. Stan was the guy who would be always encouraging the other racers no matter where he was. Stan was also the guy who helped organize a fundraiser for a fellow racer who had cancer.
The year that Stan turned 50 I had the pleasure of spending it his family in Tahoe as he competed and finished The Exterra on his birthday. Everyone loves Stan and he is a great servant of God and a spitting image of James Carvel, but we won’t hold that against him. I loved having Stan at my side in the most challenging times of leadership as he always kept me focused on the real mission of a Christian and who was really in charge. Stan, thanks for your years of service to this ministry and keeping us headed in the right direction.