Denise Joy has been selected as the 2019 Tour de Fleur Participant of Honor. This designation is awarded to a woman who stands out as role model to empower women for bike riding and physical activity.
Denise was selected when organizers of the Tour de Fleur learned that underneath City Councilwoman Denise’s outwardly quiet, humble grace is a woman of incredible strength and commitment to her community…. and a strong desire to ride a bicycle. More on our blog.
Last January Joy excitedly announced, “I’m going to ride in the Tour de Fleur this year!” She went on to explain that she was making a commitment to herself to do some things that she really wanted to do, and taking up bike riding and participating in our event was a big one.
During Joy’s first year in elected office her father was brutally murdered in the ward Denise represents. Through the second half of the year, Joy endured the criminal investigation, the pain of losing her father, the publicity surrounding the case, the legal proceedings of the court case, the closing of her father’s estate, and much more.
Through all of this, Denise never missed a City Council meeting. She arrived to every meeting early and not only stayed to the end of each meeting, she stayed well after to talk and listen to members of the public and city staff. She continued to be active in community task force meetings, city related meetings, constituent meetings, steering committee meetings for the South Billings Aquatic and Recreation Center, and much more. And she did this while also working her job at Central Heights Elementary School.
Penny Ronning, Joy’s colleague on City Council noted that “Ward Three is incredibly well represented by Councilwoman Denise Joy. All of Billings is well served by her work ethic, honor, intelligence, heart, and committed representation to our community.”
Billings TrailNet hopes women who learn about Denise’s story can relate to her strength, and that the Tour de Fleur sparks the interest of all women to salute spring and embrace bicycling at the event May 5.
Since 2016, nearly 200 women and children have joined the ride, while friends and family support participants by tossing flower petals as they embark. Riders can choose from a 1.5 mile, 5 mile or 15 mile ride. The 15 mile ride begins at noon and the shorter rides will begin shortly afterward.
The bicycle decorating event begins at 11:30 a.m. A limited supply of flowers will be available at the event, and participants are encouraged to bring their own flowers for embellishment.
The Tour de Fleur also includes live music, prizes, participant bags and a raffle, which includes a bike donated by Terry Bicycling; a Girls Night Out at Neecee’s; a Bumps N Bundles “Mommy Survival Kit;” and a customized Dare to Lead Workshop delivered by certified facilitator, Mary Beth Beaulieu. Raffle winners will be drawn at 1:30 pm.
The Tour de Fleur’s title sponsor is Montana Brewing Company. Co-sponsors include many of the Shops at Shiloh and Billings Clinic, Billings OBGyn, Valley Federal Credit Union, St. Vincent Healthcare, Morledge Family Eye Clinic, Computers Unlimited, Pine Cove Consulting, Allegra Marketing & Print, Anytime Fitness, Terry Bicycles and SCRaP.
Proceeds from the ride will contribute to the continued community-wide efforts of Billings TrailNet to connect Billings’ bikeways and trails.
Denise will lead the five mile ride alongside Billings’ first lady, Anne Cole. The public is invited to toss flower petals (provided at the Tour de Fleur) and cheer them on!