Tour Des Chutes gives biggest gift yet for cancer surviors

St. Charles Cancer Center's surviorship program gets $75,000

POSTED: 3:41 PM PDT October 9, 2012    UPDATED: 5:47 PM PDT October 9, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

The founder of the Tour Des Chutes ride gave a huge gift on Tuesday evening.

Gary Bonacker -- a cancer survivor himself -- presented St. Charles Cancer Center's survivorship program with a $75,000 check.

It's money raised from his annual Tour Des Chutes bike ride. Bonacker founded the event as a way to support other cancer survivors in Central Oregon.

Bonacker said the ride has raised more money each year since it began in 2005.

And this year is no exception.

Bonacker says he's thrilled to support the various programs St. Charles offers for cancer survivors.

"I mean it feels good," he said.  "And it feels right. It feels like, you know, if we could give a $175,000, I'd do that. And you know, our goal is to always give that program as much as we can."

Bonacker missed this year's ride back in July after a relapse of the disease just days before the event.

The Tour Des Chutes is also giving $20,000 to Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation and $5,000 to help Bend Dr. Michael Mara train other physicians in Kenya.