28th Annual Tour de Franklin Fundraiser Set For April

The 28th annual Tour de Franklin bicycle fundraiser for the Franklin Food Bank is set for April 30. Pictured is a rider in the 2016 event.

The Franklin Food Bank’s 28th annual Tour de Franklin Charity Bike Ride is set for April 30.

The first bike ride of the season for many cyclists, the Tour de Franklin is also a day when avid cyclists and the Franklin community join together for a common mission, to fight local hunger through supporting the Franklin Food Bank.

The Tour de Franklin has seen substantial growth in riders in recent years, growing from just over 550 riders in 2012 to 775 riders last year. To accommodate the growth in support, in 2016 the Tour moved to a larger venue at the Franklin High School at 500 Elizabeth Ave in Somerset.

The Tour will be held at Franklin High School again this year, and the day will consist of seven different rides, including the 62-mile, 40-mile, 25-mile, 10-mile, 1-to-5-mile walk or ride, and a 5-mile and 10-mile ride along Somerset’s scenic canal. Ride start times are staggered throughout the morning, with riders returning to the high school for a community lunch and music from Magic 98.3 radio at the end of their ride. T-shirts are guaranteed for all participants who register by April 7.

Additionally, special T-shirts will be awarded to Silver Riders who raise over $150 and Gold Riders who raise over $300. This year, special cycling jerseys also will be awarded to Titanium Riders, who raise over $1000.

“We learned that many riders have friends and family who want to support their ride and the Food Bank, so last year we implemented new registration software that makes fundraising and donations really easy,” Lisa Frey, Tour de Franklin chairperson, said in a press release about the event. “We were thrilled at the number of riders who took advantage of it to raise extra funds for the Food Bank.”

The Tour de Franklin is the Franklin Food Bank’s largest fundraising event, providing critical funds at a time when donations are typically low. The food bank saw a record year in 2016, with 775 riders and sponsors from the community coming together to raise more than $78,000 for the Food Bank.  This is a substantial increase from the Tour’s humble beginnings in 1989 when 30 riders banded together to raise $1,500.

“Unfortunately, the Food Bank’s needs are also far greater than in 1989,” Frank Hasner, executive director of the food bank said in the release.  “In 2016, the Food bank delivered almost 10,000 food packages to the community. While the $78,000 raised by the Tour de Franklin sounds like a lot, it is a small part of the Food Bank’s annual budget.”

To learn more about the Franklin Food Bank and the Tour de Franklin, please go to the Tour de Franklin on www.franklinfoodbank.org or the Tour de Franklin on Facebook.

Submitted by the Franklin Food Bank.


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