As over 250 cyclists readied themselves for the Natick Rotary Club-organized Tour de Natick at the starting point between the post office and the Common Street Spiritual Center, a police officer shouted out a friendly directive: “Remember, this is a ride, not a race.”
The goal: have fun and keep the action on the 6-mile Tour de Natick course as unlike the Tour de France as possible—no crazy speeds, no glaring at the upstart about to pass you, no hyper-competitive peloton groupings. The annual Father’s Day tradition (except for two bye years due to that pesky pandemic) went off without a hitch, and raised nearly $10,000 to fund college scholarships for Natick students through race entrance fees and the event’s 20+ generous sponsors.
Rotary Club president Mark Canegallo said, “We’re super thankful to our sponsors. Middlesex Savings Bank has been with us every single year for 19 years. TJX stepped up as a new corporate sponsor for us, and Bernardi Auto is a major sponsor as well. Coach & Carriage Auto Body has always been a sponsor.” In addition, Wegman’s donated the food for the post-race bar-b-que.
In addition to the scholarship program, the Club gives a dictionary to each of Natick’s approximately 300 third graders. Over the past 15 years over 8,000 dictionaries, each one personalized with the receiving student’s name, have been donated.