Local News, Sports

5th annual Tour de Slate is Saturday

Bike ride hopes to raise $35,000 to help end addiction

Saturday, Aug. 6 — MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS — Addiction has touched the lives of countless friends, neighbors, coworkers, and classmates. For some it’s too close to home.

Vermont has one of the highest illicit drug usage rates in the nation. Almost everyone knows of someone, a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, whose family has been impacted by this epidemic.

In Middletown Springs—and down the quiet roads of the Slate Valley, it’s a story of redemption. It’s a story of riding bikes to raise money to support the recovery of friends, neighbors and our own family, at the second annual Tour de Slate “riding to end addiction” bike ride.

This year’s Tour de Slate bike ride through the Slate Valley of Vermont and eastern New York will take place on Saturday, Aug. 6.

“Tour de Slate will change lives,” said event coordinator Stan Achey. “100% of this fundraiser’s net proceeds go directly to cover the expenses of men, women and teens ready to turn their lives around and break the chains of addiction at Teen Challenge Vermont.”

Teen Challenge Vermont is a 15 month, residential facility with an admissions office on West Street in Rutland. No one is ever turned away because of financial circumstances or inability to pay, which is why fund raising is so crucial.

At any given point in time there are about 40 – 50 residents in their program. However, that is only part of the story. For each resident, there are many extended family members whose lives will also be improved by the success of this program.

When asked about the success of the Teen Challenge program, Travis Morehouse, donor relations supervisor for Teen Challenge, shared: “I came to Adult & Teen Challenge Vermont, broken, hopeless, and suffering from the perils of drug addiction. I was at the end of my rope and every bridge burned. Today, through the skills and training of the program, my life has been restored and has purpose — along with a heart to witness and support others overcome addiction.”

This year’s event will occur on Aug. 6, 2022. This will be the fifth year of the ride. Each year has seen significant growth with an average increase in funds raised approximately 28% annually. Even during the last two years amid the Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting restrictions, the increase in funds raised were in that range. Last year, 2021, $32,000 was donated. The goal for this year is $35,000.

The funds are well used with the expense level less than 16% of gross revenue, and with a “cost to raise donations” ratio of less than 1.7%, these figures would give Tour de Slate a “highly efficient” rating by charity watch groups.

Funds raised directly support the care, clinical counseling, educational and career services for clients at Teen Challenge.

This year about 500 are projected to attend the event (this includes riders, volunteers and friends). The event is designed so that there is a ride route for everyone. There are three road routes, including a metric century ride (100 km. or 63.4 miles) and new this year is a groad ride (which is part paved road and part gravel road). There is also a family friendly rails/trails route.

Volunteers and rest stops will be positioned to aid riders along the way. All rides will start and end on the Green in Middletown Springs. Riders will receive a Tour de Slate t-shirt and a draw string backpack goodie bag.

A delicious hot lunch will be served to riders after they finish their route.

Jim from New Jersey, who rode in a past Tour de Slate shared these thoughts: “Of all the fundraising bike rides I’ve participated in, Tour de Slate was the most enjoyable. Where else can you experience such great mountain scenery while supporting a wonderful cause. For me the highlight came at the conclusion of the ride. Great food and personal stories of youngsters finding a new life in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism.”

Now, the event just needs riders.

Register to ride online at tourdeslate.org.

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