We are proud of the community partnerships have been built over the years, and of the fact that we have donated over $1.2 million to help children and adults with cancer thrive. We couldn’t have done that without our amazing participants, sponsors, and volunteers, and wanted to take a moment as we celebrate 16 years of Tour des Chutes to talk about exactly how that money is used in the community.
One of the most important priorities of our founder, Gary Bonacker, was to keep money raised by Tour des Chutes in the hands of individuals who need it. While there are other important functions of cancer treatment including funding research, staff, facilities, etc., Gary wanted to fill the needs that are often missed by insurance or impacted by an inability to work. The following is a break down of the programs your time and money support for the Central Oregon community.
Gas & Food Cards
Traveling for cancer treatment is a challenging reality for both rural residents in Central Oregon, as well as those who must travel to Portland for specialized services. Through dynamic partnerships with St Charles, Mosaic Medical, Summit Medical Group, and OHSU, Tour des Chutes is able to provide gas and food cards to individuals to help ease this particular burden.
Cancer treatment often includes difficult side effects, and for many people, integrative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and Reiki can help in easing discomfort or pain. We have established an integrative therapy network throughout Central Oregon that includes cancer treatment providers who issue vouchers for services at approved practices. Additionally, some funding supports in-house integrative therapies at St Charles for patients who receive care there.
Health & Wellness at Bend Park & Recreation District
In 2017 Tour des Chutes and Bend Park & Rec partnered to offer free health and wellness classes for cancer patients and survivors. These classes have included physical activities such as yoga and water aerobics, as well as classes to support mental health such as journaling, clay modeling, and more. Classes are offered during each session and can be found online or through the seasonal Playbook.
Tour des Chutes emergency funds were established to help in areas where our community feels they may be falling through the cracks. These funds are used for everything from covering basic needs such as making a utility payment for someone who has exhausted their personal account, to helping pay for essential medical procedures that may be required in order to receive cancer treatment. You can read a personal story here about Kathy, who required a dental procedure before she could begin her treatment.
Tour des Chutes is committed to the idea that what is raised in our community, stays in our community. That idea is something that brings and keeps us together, and is why we ride, run and walk for our family, friends and neighbors.