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Will wrap things up with July community celebration, virtual ride

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The 17-year tradition of the Tour des Chutes, a Central Oregon summer road-cycling event that has raised more than $1.25 million for children and adults with cancer, is coming to a close this year with a community celebration and virtual ride, organizers have told race supporters.

Founder Gary Bonacker of Sunnyside Sports began the event in 2005 after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

“Over the past several years, the road cycling and event landscape in Central Oregon has changed considerably,” race organizers said in the note (which you can read in full below.”

That, and “a number of other extenuating circumstances” led to the decision to “wrap up … operations this year,” and to replace this year’s in-person cycling event with a community gathering on July 8 at Worthy Brewing “that celebrates the remarkable contributions of the Tour des Chutes and its founder.”

Here’s the note race officials sent to supporters:

Tower of the Falls – Important Event Update
Hello Tour des Chutes supporters!

Since 2005, Tour des Chutes has been a Central Oregon road cycling tradition, offering supported rides on some of the most beautiful and iconic stretches of road in the high desert. With the partnership of incredible community sponsors, volunteers, and participants, we have raised well over $1.25 million for children and adults with cancer in Central Oregon.

Over the past several years, the road cycling and event landscape in Central Oregon has changed considerably. These facts, as well as a number of other extenuating circumstances, have caused the Tour des Chutes Board of Directors to make two very difficult decisions. First, the Tour des Chutes organization will wrap up its operations this year. Second, the 2022 in-person cycling event will be replaced with a community gathering that celebrates the remarkable contributions of the Tour des Chutes and its founder, Gary Bonacker, as well as a virtual ride.

Our final get together will take place on July 8 from 5:00 to 8:00pm at Worthy Brewing. This celebration will include food and beer for those who register ahead of time, as well as Tour des Chutes swag and live music. As usual, all proceeds generated from the event will be used to provide needed financial and in-kind support to cancer survivors in our community.

Registration for our community celebration and virtual cycling is a suggested donation of $25 per person. You can register for this fundraising event and still purchase commemorative jerseys and t-shirts here:
Celebration Registration Falls Tour

We realize this is a significant shift, and many of you who were looking forward to the ride this year may be disappointed. We remain humbled and profoundly grateful for the support that you have provided to the Tour des Chutes and its beneficiaries for all these years. While this decision was not made lightly, we do look forward to seeing what other events or fundraisers might rise up in our place, and what community needs can be met with new energy and momentum.

We hope you will join us on July 8!

Sincerely,
Tower of the Falls

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