Tour de Steamboat organizers gave out nearly $50,000 to four local organizations Wednesday morning. This is the first year the annual summer bike ride has given the money locally, and the hope is the move will help the groups stimulate their own fundraising efforts while building the strength of the Tour.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Tour de Steamboat organizers gave out nearly $50,000 to four local organizations Wednesday morning. This is the first year the annual summer bike ride has given the money locally, and the hope is the move will help the groups stimulate their own fundraising efforts while building the strength of the Tour.

Tour de Steamboat divvies up nearly $50K in local grants

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— On a brisk autumn morning, the Tour de Steamboat board of directors celebrated the results of a warm summer day.

The Tour de Steamboat board officially handed out the funds raised during its annual summer event, and this year, it was a bit different as the board broke from tradition and doled out the money to local groups. In the past, it’s supported the Sunshine Kids organization.

“We just thought, we are part of this community, we want to raise money for this community,” board member Katie Lindquist said. “We sat down and decided to pick from a cross-section of the community — an environmental group, a social group, a humanitarian group and then Routt County Riders, a riders group.”

The choices from there, she said, were obvious. Partners in Routt County, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide were chosen along with Routt County Riders. The groups were given a three-year commitment, and the hope is that rather than simply providing annual cash infusions, the partnership can stimulate growth for the selected groups and the cycling event.

“They are building what they do. The idea is for them to build what they’re going to do to bring in more money and more awareness instead of just getting one shot every year,” Lindquist said. “This check is not just from Tour de Steamboat but from their silent auction dinner and their own promotional events around Tour de Steamboat.”

On Wednesday morning, that paid off with a total of $48,948. Each group pulled down $12,237.

Tour de Steamboat drew about 625 riders this summer for three rides. The biggest one covered 110 miles, up and over Rabbit Ears Pass, south and back over Gore Pass and up to Steamboat Springs. Shorter options of 40 and 25 miles also were available.

Next year, organizers are hoping to take another big step forward with the event, which has grown a great deal in recent years. The event already is set for July 19.

“We will cap (registration) at 1,000, and we will reach that cap,” Lindquist said.

That means come another brisk morning next year, good news is likely to await four local groups.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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