On June 14, 2008, Jeanette Sullivan, a Bend resident, inspiring teacher and triathlete, lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. A longtime friend of cancer survivor and Tour des Chutes founder, Gary Bonacker, Jeanette chose to honor Tour des Chutes with a generous gift as a way of supporting Gary’s challenge to create cancer awareness in Central Oregon through a cycling event.
Says her partner, Tim Lester, “Jeanette wanted to support Tour des Chutes as a healthy activity with a purpose, something she always liked. She wanted to support the efforts of her good friend Gary Bonacker and inspire him in his challenge. As an endurance athlete, Jeanette continues to challenge cancer through a Tour des Chutes endowment in her name.”
The 2007 Tour des Chutes was the last cycling event Jeanette completed after being diagnosed. The endowment helps Tour des Chutes make improvements to the event in order to reach its goal of making the Tour des Chutes “the best ride each rider has ever experienced,” in founder Gary Bonacker’s words.
Read more about Jeanette’s inspiring life story in this Bend Bulletin article from November 2008 : Her Spirit Rides On.