By Ben Olson
The Sandpoint Rotary and CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo donated a check Wednesday for $50,000 to the Lake Pend Oreille School District (LPOSD) to assist children on the autism spectrum. This is the fourth year the Sandpoint Rotary has presented the event.
“What these monies have allowed us to do is to create a sustainable road map and prepare these kids on the autism spectrum for a quality way of life,” said Dr. Joy Jansen, director of special services with LPOSD. “CHAFE 150’s contribution has made a significant, positive impact for our students. Now we are also able to offer education and support to the broader community.”
The ninth annual CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo took place on Saturday, June 18 in Sandpoint. At 310 participants registered for the ride this year, it is the highest participation in the event’s history.
The 150-mile route starts at Sandpoint City Beach and makes a loop around the Cabinet Mountains following the lake and river valleys. There are also 80- and 30-mile loops for riders not wanting to commit to the full ride.
This year, 75 sponsors helped raise over $50,000 and 120 volunteers helped make the CHAFE 150 a success.
“What’s great about this event is that all of the money raised stays here locally to benefit our students,” said Mel Dick, sponsor chairman for CHAFE 150. “It’s a beautiful ride for a great cause, and we couldn’t do it without the generous support of all of our sponsors.”
PR chairman Elana Westphal added: “Hundreds of people come to Sandpoint for this magnificent ride each year and just love our warm, welcoming community. They are equally impressed by how committed we all are to making a difference in the lives of children on the autism spectrum.”
After their regular meeting on Wednesday, the Sandpoint Rotary presented a check for $50,000 to LPOSD to help area children on the autism spectrum. In the four years since Sandpoint Rotary has sponsored the CHAFE 150, they have donated $160,000 to LPOSD.
Next year’s CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo will take place on Saturday, June 17. Donations are accepted year-round by visiting CHAFE150.org.