BEND, Ore. - Tour des Chutes will mark its 13th straight year of raising funds for cancer survivorship programs in Central Oregon by hosting its annual cycling and running/walking event at High Lakes Elementary School (NorthWest Crossing) in Bend on Saturday, July 8th.
Participants can choose to ride one of five distances, from 7 miles up to 100 miles, with all registration fees going to support a number of cancer survivorship programs in Central Oregon. A 5K run/walk will also be held supporting the Pediatric Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports families who have a child with cancer.
The 100-mile ride begins at 6 a.m., with shorter distances of 75, 50 and 25 miles starting each hour after that. The 7-mile ride -- the final of the day -- will start at 9:30 a.m.
The cost of adult registration for cycling is $55, while those who participate in the 5K run/walk pay just $25. Participants can register online at www.tourdeschutes.com or at the Tour des Chutes annual Kick-Off Party held Thursday, May 4, 5p.m. to 7 p.m. at G5 headquarters, located at 550 NW Franklin Ave #200 in downtown Bend.
In its previous 12 events, Tour des Chutes has donated more than $900,000 to programs that support cancer survivors.
“As I’ve become more involved over the last year, I have realized how important this event is for so many people in our Central Oregon community, providing space for each person involved to participate in a way that is most meaningful to them,” said Tour des Chutes executive director Sarah McDougall, who was newly hired into the position last year. “Tour des Chutes is about community. We have loyal support from local businesses, volunteers and participants.”
Tour des Chutes was founded in 2005 by Bend resident, business owner and cancer survivor, Gary Bonacker, in order to fund St. Charles’ Cancer Center survivorship programs. More recently, Tour des Chutes has also dedicated funds to the Pediatric Foundation, a Bend nonprofit that provides direct financial support to families who have a child with cancer.
Thanks to corporate and community sponsors, combined with event registration funds, Tour des Chutes raised more than $200,000 in 2016.
“Tour des Chutes is in the process of creating new partnerships to expand our reach to local community members impacted by cancer,” said McDougall. “New initiatives including funding access for cancer patients to Bend Parks & Recreation classes and travel assistance for Central Oregonians needing to seek treatment at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute in Portland.”
The goal of Tour des Chutes, McDougall added, is to ensure the organization is positively impacting those with cancer in Central Oregon through supportive programs and helping fund basic needs for those who require the most assistance.
Tour des Chutes is made possible by a number of major sponsors and supporters including Robberson Ford, Pacific Power, St. Charles Health System, Worthy Brewing, Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA), Deschutes Brewing, Les Schwab, the Kralj Family, Medivation, Hydro Flask, Sunnyside Sports, and several others.
For more information about Tour des Chutes, visit www.tourdeschutes.org.