Tour de Forks to benefit fund for graduating Routt County seniors

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If you go

What: Second annual Tour de Forks benefiting the Steamboat Springs Young Professionals Network scholarship fund

When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all day

Where: 15 participating Steamboat restaurants

Cost: Wristbands are $10 for one day or $25 for three days

Online: Visit www.steamboatchamber.org/ypn for a complete list of food and drink specials available with a wristband.

— The Steamboat Springs Young Professionals Network is offering the opportunity for anyone to enjoy tasty local fare at discounted prices while benefiting youths in Routt County.

The second annual Tour de Forks fundraiser has changed slightly this year, offering discounts at 15 participating restaurants throughout the three-day event.

All the proceeds will go toward YPN’s scholarship fund to support graduating Routt County seniors.

A wristband is good for food and drink specials at participating eateries across Steamboat Springs. Wristbands are $10 on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or $25 for all three days. Wristbands are available at All That Jazz and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Asso­ciation visitor center.

YPN Philanthropic Com­mit­tee member Marion Ayer said the group sees community involvement as an important part of its mission and tailored the fundraiser toward the interests of young professionals in town.

“We decided that one of the things young professionals like to do is to be out and about,” Ayer said. “They just enjoy being out on the town. We thought that was a good way to combine this with something that most of our members are already doing.”

But the event is not only for YPN members. Ayer encourages everyone to participate and help support youths in Routt County by enjoying some deals at local restaurants.

“Essentially, (participants are) putting their money toward a scholarship and get to enjoy eating out,” Ayer said.

Deals include half off an order at Domino’s Pizza, a free bottle of wine with the purchase of two entrees at Riggio’s Ristorante and buy-one-get-one appetizers and $3 drafts at Big House Burgers & Bottle Cap Bar, Rex’s American Grill & Bar and Mazzola’s Majestic Italian Diner.

Last year, the inaugural event allowed YPN to offer two $250 scholarships to 2010 graduates Molly Parsons and Devin Wil­kinson.

The recipients wrote essays about their commitments to community involvement and their future ambitions.

Applicants were judged on initiative, community service, academics and financial need.

Philanthropic Committee member Adam Beaupre said there are many families in the community facing the difficulty of sending their children to institutions of higher learning.

“Higher education is hugely expensive from books to board,” he said. “I know people consider Steamboat an affluent community, but from what I see with this event and with my work at the Boys & Girls Club, there is definitely a need in this community.”

He added that it’s also important to support local businesses that have been affected by the economic recession and downtown construction.

Philanthropic Committee member Meagan Coates said the event is a good chance to get a great deal during the off-season, as well as support the next generation of professionals.

“They’re the young professionals of the future, and we want to help support them now as they go into college and help them make good decisions,” Coates said.

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