Diabetes fundraiser coming to Suffolk

Published 10:53 pm Saturday, February 18, 2012

The 2012 Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association is coming to Suffolk in April, and the organization is looking for individuals, businesses and organizations that want to be a part of the event.

The annual cycling event is one of about 80 throughout the country that raises money to support the association’s research, education and advocacy goals. The Suffolk event is one of only two so far scheduled for Virginia this year.

A meeting is set for Tuesday at Sentara Obici Hospital to provide an overview of the event for anyone who is interested in sponsoring, volunteering or participating in the event.

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“The meeting explains who we are and what we do and what the event’s going to be about,” said Amie Holman, associate director of the local American Diabetes Association and coordinator for Tour de Cure.

This is the 18th year of Tour de Cure locally. One of the first events was held in Suffolk, but the event then moved to a Chesapeake-Outer Banks route and hasn’t been back.

Recently, that route became unavailable, Holman said.

“We wanted to find a new location that provided beautiful scenery and safe roads,” she said. “It’s kind of like we’re coming back full-circle.”

The organization also chose Suffolk because of the welcoming it knew it would receive, she said.

“There are many community-based organizations there that want to do a lot for the community,” she said.

Riders in the Tour de Cure do not have to be experienced cyclists or have fancy bikes or special clothes to participate, Holman said.

The event is not a race, but is meant to be enjoyable and allows riders to take it at their own pace, Holman said. There are four distances to choose from: a 10-, 30-, 65- or 100-mile route.

“It offers routes for all different skill levels and abilities,” Holman said.

All of the routes for the April 21 event will start and end at King’s Fork High School. Some of them venture into Isle of Wight County, and all have maintenance and rest stops along the way.

The Tuesday meeting is open to anyone, but Holman especially is seeking businesses or corporations looking to get involved.

“We’re hoping to provide the opportunity for people to come and learn a little bit more about the event,” she said.

The Tuesday meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Sentara Obici Hospital in classrooms C and D. For more information or to RSVP, call Holman at 424-6662 ext. 3276 or email aholman@diabetes.org. Visit the local Tour de Cure website for more information.