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August 15th Charity Bike Ride and Walk Adapts to Coronavirus:

August 15

Steeple Chase Fundraiser Asks Supporters to Choose Their Own Routes to Support Windham Area Social Services

For the first time in its 29-year history, participants in the Steeple Chase Bike Tour will not gather together to ride or walk to raise money for critical non-profits. Instead, to honor Coronavirus-related social distancing and safety requirements, organizers of this year’s Steeple Chase are asking participants to register and fundraise online, and to select a route of their choice on August 15th instead of coming to Mansfield to travel one of the routes provided by event planners. But some things will stay the same. The event will again benefit three critical social service organizations in northeast Connecticut. Every dollar raised by participants and sponsors will again be matched by the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation, doubling proceeds. And all proceeds will again be used to help people struggling with drug addiction, homelessness, mental health challenges, and poverty.

“All three organizations we support have been working tirelessly through this pandemic,” explains Dan Gerwein, chairman of the planning committee. “These non-profits – Perception Programs, Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, and the Windham Region No Freeze Project — help the most vulnerable, most at-risk members of our communities. These organizations haven’t missed a beat — in fact most have been putting in more hours and exceeding their already tight budgets to keep people safe and healthy since mid-March. This year especially, they need the financial support of participants and sponsors to keep their organizations afloat.”

In a normal year, cyclists and walkers of all ages and abilities choose from pre-planned 20, 35, 50, 62.5 or 100-mile bike routes through eastern Connecticut or a 5-mile walk. through Willimantic. This year, participants can ride wherever they want – through their neighborhood or hometown, on one of Connecticut’s traffic-free Rail Trails like the Hop River or the Airline Trail, or along one of the routes detailed on the Steeple Chase website. (The original five routes for the tour are posted on the event website, www.steeplechasebiketour.org.) Participants can also ride or walk whenever they want, starting and finishing their route at a convenient time.

By registering online at www.bikereg.com/46719 and asking friends, family, employers and others to sponsor the ride, Steeple Chase participants can generate desperately needed funds for three critical Windham County social service agencies that shelter the homeless, offer a path to recovery for people with addiction and mental illness, and provide basic needs from clothing to heat for under-resourced individuals and families. Over its history, the Steeple Chase Bike Tour has raised more than $1.6 million for the Windham No Freeze Project (www.windhamnofreeze.com), Windham Area Interfaith Ministry/WAIM (www.waimct.org) and Perception Programs (www.perceptionprograms.com) to help fund their important work.

Pre-registration for the event is $25 for individual riders or walkers. In addition to registration, each rider is asked to raise a minimum of $75 in donations. Online registration for the Steeple Chase will continue through August 14 at www.steeplechasebiketour.org and www.bikereg.com/46719.

The Steeple Chase benefits from the generosity of corporate sponsors and donors including The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation, IT Direct, Eastern Connecticut State University, Thread City Cyclists, Home Selling Team, Sarazin General Contractors, and many others. Companies and organizations interested in sponsorship should call Perception Programs at 860-450-7122.

For more information, visit www.steeplechasebiketour.org, call (860) 450-7122, email steeple.chase@perceptionprograms.org, or follow the event on Facebook @SCbiketour, Twitter @SCbiketour, Instagram @steeplechasebiketour, and on LinkedIn.



Throughout The Last Green Valley
United States

25 – 75