We always look forward to the many fun and family-focused running and cycling events in the area each spring but, unsurprisingly, charitable organizations have had to reimagine their races due to COVID-19 concerns.
The annual 6-mile Tour de Natick family bike ride put together by the Rotary Club of Natick has gone to a virtual format this year. The Virtual Tour de Natick can be completed anytime over Father’s Day weekend, and organizers encourage riders to bike anywhere that works best for them — literally from anywhere in the world! You can even use a stationary bike if you prefer.
All money raised through the Virtual Tour de Natick will go toward the Rotary Club of Natick’s charitable foundation to benefit Natick Scholars. Each year the Club gives away over $10,000 in scholarships to graduating Natick High School Seniors and over 300 dictionaries to the town’s third graders. Thanks to funds raised through the Tour de Natick, over the past 14 years the club has distributed over $151,000 in scholarships and over 4,500 dictionaries.
The need is literal, not virtual
Other 501(c)s that rely on the fundraising generated during the annual springtime events — New Life Furniture Bank, Natick-based Family Promise, and The Second Step program — need essential funding more than ever to continue with their missions of helping families.
The Eliot Church of Natick stepped up by fielding a virtual team of 15 runners and walkers for the New Life Virtual 5k. To participate in a safe and socially distant manner, group members completed their own personal 5k walks or runs. Funds raised benefited the New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts in its mission to provide essential home furnishings to those in need.
Across the border, the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club (WHJWC) invites the community to participate in a “Virtual Wonder Run” to support of two organizations — The Second Step program and Family Promise Metrowest.
Both programs are committed to helping families through difficult times, and are facing difficult times of their own with the increased critical financial needs associated with COVID-19.
The WHJWC is about halfway to its 15k fundraising goal.