By Ben Olson
Sandpoint Rotary Club opened registration Jan. 19 for the 2022 CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo bicycle ride, inviting those interested in participating in the popular one-day ride to enter at chafe150.org. Early birds who sign up before Friday, Feb. 18 will save $10 on their registration fee.
Hailed by Bicycling Magazine as one of the top 10 best charity rides in the country, the CHAFE 150 is an annual bike ride organized by the Sandpoint Rotary Club and supported by presenting sponsor Litehouse and more than 90 local businesses, organizations and individuals. Proceeds from this year’s race will benefit the Lake Pend Oreille School District Book Trust Program, which enables all first- and second-grade students to purchase their own books on a monthly basis during the school year for reading in the classroom or home.
Sandpoint Rotary has contributed more than $700,000 over the past 15 years to benefit educational programs with LPOSD. Early childhood education received CHAFE-150 funding the first few years of the ride, followed by autism programs until this year, when funding was slated to go toward the Book Trust Program.
LPOSD Director for After School Programs Lorainne Gee and LPOSD Director of Teaching and Learning Andra Murray gave a presentation at the Sandpoint Rotary Club meeting Jan. 19 outlining the benefits accrued to local school children by past funds.
Gee and Murray said last year’s CHAFE 150 donation of $50,000 was used to add a staff position, purchase book sets and reading materials, add three paid high school tutor positions, provide snacks when greeting kids for after-school programs, as well as Chromebooks for student use.
“We know reading opens doors and literacy programs open doors to success for our students,” Murray said.
Hope Elementary School Principal Sherri Hatley also spoke to the Rotarians about the upcoming Book Trust Program. Hatley said the program is estimated to benefit almost 600 students at seven local elementary schools by giving each kid $7 per month to spend on books.
“At the end of the year, if each student gets two to three books per month, that means we’ll have an extra 10,000 to 11,000 books in our community,” Hatley said.
Rotarian and ride organizer Mel Dick commended the LPOSD staff members, saying, “You guys are such great stewards for that money. You make it happen. Thank you very much.”
To help generate additional support, CHAFE 150 riders are encouraged to raise funds on their own for the cause through pledged donations, with those who raise the most receiving an assortment of prizes ranging from bicycles to free registrations for future rides.
The ride features varying lengths, including 150-, 100-, 80-, 40- and 25-mile routes that take riders through the lake and river valleys of the Cabinet Mountains. The signature route of 150 miles remains in a class of its own, circumnavigating the entire mountain range while gaining a total elevation of 6,600 feet. The ride starts with breakfast on the beach, then starts and finishes at Sandpoint City Beach. Other mileage routes will all begin with breakfast at City Beach.
Visit chafe150.org for more details about each route and follow CHAFE 150 on Facebook.
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