A recently retired Vermont businessman died during a cross-country bicycle trip, and left US$1 million toward completion of bike paths in his hometown.
Charles Semprebon, 66, lived in Barre, Vermont his entire life. He died on May 24 in Santa Fe, New Mexico while riding across the U.S. from Los Angeles to Boston. He retired from the Calmont Beverage Company late last year, the company owned and operated by his family for more than 60 years.
As reported on www.timesargus.com, Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon and Jeff Blow, chairman of the Barre Town select board, were informed through the estate of Semprebon that each community will receive US$500,000 bequests specifically for the bike path projects in memory of Charles Semprebon.
"I'm overwhelmed by Charlie's generosity" Lauzon said on June 11. "Everyone who knew Charlie knew of his strong advocacy for fitness and cycling. This generous and thoughtful gift to our communities will help us realize Charlie's dream of a regional bike path that can be enjoyed by cyclists in perpetuity."
According to Lauzon, Semprebon's brother, Tom, and nephews Jamie and Shane, would likely be the first members of the committee.
"We'll get very busy very quickly bringing that committee up to speed," Lauzon said, suggesting that plans for yet-to-be-built segments of the Central Vermont Regional Bike Path will be dusted off, projects targeted, and additional funds sought.
Family members said Semprebon's gift was a surprise to everyone, but they said he tended to keep his thoughts to himself most of the time.