Daughtreys do it for memories

Published 12:17 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ella Daughtrey has two special reasons to participate in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure: her mother and her father.

Both parents died from complications of diabetes, and she started participating in their memory when the Tour came to Suffolk in 2012. This will be her third year.

“I basically do it in memory of them,” she said. “I just do the 10-mile.”

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The cycling fundraiser will be held in Suffolk again this year on April 26. Starting from King’s Fork High School, riders will go on their chosen route — 10, 30, 65 or 100 miles.

Participation costs a $25 registration fee and at least $200 in fundraising. All that’s needed is a bicycle and helmet.

Even occasional riders can brave the 10-mile route, Daughtrey said. She sometimes goes around the “block” in her bicycle, which in the Holland area, where she lives, equates to about four miles.

Her husband, Ronald Daughtrey, also will be participating in the Tour de Cure, but in a different way.

Daughtrey and the rest of the Holland Ruritan Club man the rest stop at the Holland Community House, providing cyclists with energy boosters along their route.

“It’s everything from energy bars to fresh fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water and Gatorade,” Daughtrey said. “Anything that will provide them some energy and not weigh them down.”

The diabetes association provides all the refreshments, Daughtrey said; the Ruritan Club provides the manpower.

“It’s such a good fellowship,” he said. “The people that are riding appreciate it so much, it makes you want to do it. Everyone has a thank you, but all we’re doing is handing it to them. I don’t know of anything I’ve ever done where there was so much appreciation.”

Daughtrey said bike shops set up post at the stop to provide service to bicycles, and ham radio operators chip in to help communicate from one stop to another.

“The coordination that the diabetes association puts into this thing is just phenomenal,” he said.

He added that out-of-town folks who participate are “really impressed with Suffolk.”

“They enjoy the scenery they’re getting and the way they’re treated in Suffolk,” he said. “All of them have nothing but good things to say about it.”