'As much as he's given, I knew the community would want to give back'

Fundraising is underway for Rory Peterson, the man who brought the Claremore Bike Trails to life.

For years Rory Peterson has been doing everything he can to give back to the community, and in his moment of need the community is rising up to return the favor. Lisa Jo Saylor said she's been friend with Rory Peterson and his wife Cheri for nearly 20 years. During that time she's had a front row seat to witness the enormous impact he's had on the Claremore community.

When Peterson found himself facing a pricey surgery that would put him out of work for a while, Saylor was quick to help.

"Over the 20 years I've known him he has done so many things for so many people in the community, even outside of what happened with the trails. I've seen him paint houses for free and help with home improvement projects. He's given in all kinds of ways to the community," she said. "When he began the battle with the trails, in the beginning he was kind of a one-man show and it was just his tenacity to make sure that he completed what he set out to do. He has such a love for the community and wanted to see Claremore improve. It was amazing. He crafted a vision and cast it to a bunch of people and they caught it and came on board and really turned that trail into something that's worth talking about."

She said Peterson's efforts with the bike trail "really put Claremore on the map for mountain bikers."

"So, when I found out he was going to miss work I wanted to help. He's self-employed. I knew this would be a blow to his family. He works every day, with his body," she said. "I knew it would be tough for them so I decided as much as he's given, I knew people would want to give to a need if it was there."

Saylor launched a GoFundMe page on Peterson's behalf. To date, $6,500 of the $10,000 goal have been raised to cover surgery expenses.

The fundraising page explains that Peterson has been fighting a ruptured disc since January. After attempting to find relief with a chiropractor, and through steroid shots from the neurosurgeon—Peterson and his doctor came to the decision that surgery was needed. The surgery was scheduled for Aug. 26 then Peterson starts the road to recovery.

"He was so grateful when I told him we were doing this. So very very grateful that we would go out of our way to set something up for him," Saylor said. "I want people to know just how much Rory has shown his love for Claremore and his desire to improve what's here for the people who live there, and also bring in people who may fall in love with Claremore and what it has to offer."


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