Rotary Club to hold Bay to Bay 150 km fundraiser

GORE BAY—Service clubs like the Rotary Club of Gore Bay are riding out the tough times of the pandemic era and, although the club can’t hold its normal slate of community events and fundraisers this summer due to COVID-19, the club will be hosting a new event, a Bay to Bay 150 kilometre ride to raise funds. 

“Hopefully we will be able to do some good here, for the community and our club,” stated Dave Rogalsky of the special fundraising event the Rotary Club has come up with for  August.

“It goes without saying, these are challenging times for everyone,” a Rotary Club press release notes. “The global COVID-19 pandemic and the provincially-mandated restrictions are taking their toll. Many community service clubs are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to fundraise through normal channels of their community events and campaigns.”

“The Rotary Club of Gore Bay is determined to help support this community despite the reality that there will be no fish fry and pancake breakfast, usually held during Gore Bay’s Harbour Days celebration. These events traditionally helped the Rotary Club raise funds to support a number of community projects and needs,” it was explained.

However, “when there is a will, there is a way,” stated Mr. Rogalsky. 

It was explained that, “local Rotarian Peter Carter, of Evansville, has graciously stepped up to the plate and offered to cycle from Bay to Bay—Gore Bay to Meldrum Bay—and back again, a distance of approximately 150 kilometres.”

“I have been doing long-distance solo bicycling for over 40 years,” said Mr. Carter. “Manitoulin Island is a very special place for riding and I am delighted to team up with the Gore Bay Rotary Club on this worthwhile project to generate support for the Food Cupboard in Gore Bay.”

Rotary Club president Karen Simpson said, “COVID-19 is really a double whammy in that it has increased the need for community support while forcing cancellation of the fundraising events we have relied on for years. There are generous people in the community who are able to help but perhaps don’t know how to go about it. We are hoping that our Bay to Bay 150K ride will give these folks an opportunity to support their neighbours.”

Club members will provide the necessary safety and support during the ride including planned nourishment and rest stops along the way in Evansville and Silver Water—with all appropriate safety and health precautions taken and social distancing practices will be observed. 

The ride is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 15 and will follow Highway 540 to Meldrum Bay and back. In the event of inclement weather, the ride will be held on Sunday, August 16.

The service club is hoping “to raise $5,000 through this event and will direct all the funds raised to support the local Food Cupboard project that is offered by Lyons Memorial United Church volunteers. The recent economic fallout and job losses/layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all communities across the country and indeed around the world. Food Cupboard volunteers have seen a marked increase in community demand for their support over the past months.” 

The Lyons Memorial United Church will issue charitable receipts for tax purposes for any donations of $20 or more that are made. The Lyons Memorial United Church Food Cupboard is available to help anyone who needs assistance on Western Manitoulin. It is open every Thursday from noon to 3 pm and everyone is welcome.

“Anyone wanting to support this endeavour by sponsoring Peter’s ride can do so by making a pledge of support through a private message to the Gore Bay Rotary Club’s Facebook page. Cheques may also be mailed directly to the Lyons Memorial Food Cupboard at 17 Meredith Street, Gore Bay, P0P 1H0. Be sure to include your contact information and mailing address. All pledges and payments should be made available to Lyons Memorial United Church. Charitable receipts for income tax purposes will be issued by the church following the completion of the ride.

“We are also hoping to have donation jars set up in various businesses,” added Mr. Rogalsky.