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Nonprofit produces Tour de Cure and Step Out walk

September 9, 2016
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American Diabetes Association Grand Rapids Step Out: Walk to Cure Diabetes
The mission of the American Diabetes Association is to “prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.” Photo via

After a six-year hiatus, a local nonprofit will produce its Tour de Cure bicycle ride this Sunday — along with a fundraiser walk downtown.

The Grand Rapids office of the American Diabetes Association, or ADA, will pair its Tour de Cure with the organization’s annual Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.

The ADA hopes to raise $200,000 from the combined event.

Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids will serve as the starting point for all of the biking and walk routes.

The Tour de Cure will feature routes that are 100 miles, 30 miles, 10 miles and a 62-mile “metric century” route.

The route for the walk is 2.5 miles.

The ride routes were developed and mapped by the Jay Fowler, executive director of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition.

Five Ottawa County parks will serve as rest stops along the bike routes.

Kevin Yeomans, associate manager of development at the ADA, said he isn’t sure why the Tour de Cure was put on hiatus, but under the local office’s new leadership, the decision was made to bring the event back.

“The Tour de Cure has been a wonderful event around the nation, and we felt like we were missing out, especially with Grand Rapids and the United States becoming such a huge cycling community,” he said.

Yeoman said the goal is to register 520 people for the combined event, with at least 100 of them being cyclists.

Walkers are asked to make minimum donations equivalent to their shoe sizes, while cyclists will pay a $10 entry fee and commit to a $200 minimum fundraising goal.

Yeomans said the fee difference is related to the higher costs associated with creating the bike routes and the logistics that go into the ride.

Money raised from the events will go toward ADA's four main investment priorities: research, advocacy, health care excellence and total wellness.

Yeomans said ADA special events generate 80 percent of the revenue the nonprofit uses to fund its mission.

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