On Saturday, August 16, 2014 Perception Programs and the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry (WAIM) will host the 23nd Annual Steeple Chase Bike Tour. With 20, 35, 50, 62.5 and 100 mile routes winding through 14 towns in scenic northeastern Connecticut and a family friendly 10 mile ride, the tour – held rain or shine – has something for everyone! Steeple Chase’s derives its name from the “steeple-to-steeple” routes between rest stops at historic churches in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner. Each stop offers tempting, high-carb snacks prepared by local church groups. Other free offerings to participants include bagels and beverages at registration, lunch, and a commemorative t-shirt and water bottle. Incentive prizes are awarded to top fundraisers.
Participants can increase their chances of taking home a prize by signing up with a group from their company, cycling club or faith community to participate in the Corporate/Club/Church Challenge. Since 2008, there has been a friendly rivalry between Steeple Chase’s top two contributors: Colchester Dental Group and Thread City Cyclists, and they extend a challenge to any other groups that are interested in taking them up on it. “It would be great to see someone step in and surpass both of our clubs’ efforts, and raise $10,000 for these two great organizations,” says Ron Manizza, a member the Steeple Chase Planning Committee and Thread City Cyclists.
Steeple Chase is a fund-raiser for two area non-profit social service agencies, Windham Area Interfaith Ministry and Perception Programs. WAIM provides emergency financial assistance, and donated clothing, and furniture to community members who are struggling financially. Perception Programs offers treatment, case management, education and housing to people with substance use and mental health co-occurring disorders, adults involved in the criminal justice system, and people living with AIDS. The entire event is organized by staff and volunteers from the two agencies, so approximately 90% of funds raised go directly to the organizations. “Steeple Chase is our biggest fundraiser,” says Victoria Nimirowski, Executive Director of WAIM. “It’s a fun and unique way to raise resources that help keep our doors open to over 8,000 people annually. It would be very difficult to provide the same level of service without the support we receive from the event.”
Steeple Chase begins and ends at the ECSU Athletic Complex, 69 Mansfield City Rd., Mansfield, CT. Pre-registration is $25 for individual riders and $75for families or groups (day of registration $30 and $85) and riders are asked to raise additional sponsorships.
Pre-register at www.perceptionprograms.org, active.com, bikereg.com, or by calling Ruth Gordon at
860-450-7122. Steeple Chase sponsors and donors should contact Ruth directly.