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Why We Ride: Fundraising & Impact


Any cyclist would tell you how important it is to fuel up with a healthy meal before a long ride. But for 1 in 7 people in the Southern Tier, that meal may be out of reach. Tour de Keuka cyclists participate to help ensure that no child, neighbor or senior goes hungry. With every $10 donated, the Food Bank is able to provide 30 meals to neighbors in need.

To start fundraising online, set up your personal fundraising page on everydayhero. Set your goal ($150 to participate, $250 to get a TDK jersey, or set your goal even higher!) and share with family, friends and coworkers.

If you're part of a team, you can create a page to highlight your shared efforts and invite people to support each team member's individual page.

Fundraising Tips

  • Share your fundraising page on social media and share your progress as you get closer to reaching your goal.
  • Make a list of everyone you know: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances. These are all potential donors, and you might be surprised who is willing to donate!
  • Break your goal down. To reach $150, you only need 10 people to give $15.
  • Stories are powerful. When asking for donations, explain why hunger relief is a cause you care about and why participating in Tour de Keuka is important to you. 

​click here to download a Fundraising Toolkit

Stories from the Road - #WhyIRide

Randy & Jenny Rhoads - Riding In Memory of Jenny Rhoads
Jenny and her husband, Randy, became the chairs of Tour de Keuka in 2003 as a way to share their love of cycling, promote the beauty of the Finger Lakes, and give back to the community. In that time, Tour de Keuka has raised more than $500,000 for area charities.

The Food Bank became the beneficiary of Tour de Keuka in 2015. Because of Jenny and Randy's hard work, Tour de Keuka expanded and we've been able to feed many more people with the funds raised each year This wouldn't have been possible without Jenny and Randy's leadership.

Jenny passed in February 2017 but Randy is still an ardent Tour de Keuka champion. In 2018, he will miss the event as he embarks on a 50-day, 3,800-mile coast-to-coast ride to raise awareness and donations for Food Bank hunger relief efforts. 

Ken Ryan, Food Bank staff member - Riding for a Healthy Heart
Ken, who's known as "Kenny" by his cowokers in the Food Bank warehouse, has been cycling for almost 10 years. In all that time, the only thing that kept him away from his bike was mitral valve repair surgery—and he credits his quick post-surgery recovery to cycling. "Cycling has helped me to think healthier, eat healthier, and just take care of myself," explains Kenny.

This will be Kenny's second year participating in Tour de Keuka, but his goal of feeding people hasn't changed. Before working at the Food Bank, Kenny himself had to rely on food pantries, so he understands first-hand how great the need is. "Stopping hunger is the main reason that I like working at the Food Bank and it is the main reason I'm participating in Tour de Keuka: to raise money so that families and children in the community have enough food." 

Stacey Esslinger - Riding for Family and Happy Bellies
Cycling is a family affair for Stacey Esslinger, husband Jason, and daughter Eliza. Stacy hadn't ridden a bike since high school, but she started cycling in 2015 when her husband, Jason, began biking to work. "He eventually added a bike seat for Eliza to go on rides with him, and pretty soon they wanted me to come along also," says Stacey. "It seemed like a great, healthy family activity."

Their family participated in the Tour de Keuka Family Ride in 2016, and they're proof that cycling with children is a great way to spend time together. "Although Eliza makes the ride a bit more work, it's a lot of fun with her on the bike," explains Stacey. "I might be thinking about the road and trying not to hit any bumps, but she is just announcing the view and enjoying everything she sees!"  Stacey, Jason and Eliza's team is Felicem Ventri, which means "happy belly" in Latin. 


Margaret Johnson, Avid Cyclist and former Tour de Keuka committee member
Margaret has been a cyclist for many years and first participated in Tour de Keuka three years ago after a friend encouraged her to try it. Prior to that, Margaret was actively involved with other local rides.  She loves the feeling of freedom and happiness that cyclist gives her. She got more involved with Tour de Keuka as a committee member last year and provides marketing and outreach assistance to help more riders like her, as well as younger cyclists, come out and join.  

When asked why she supports the Food Bank, Margaret shares, “I am the grandchild of a nutritionist, and healthy food was always a big deal for my family growing up. My parents set a great example of being active in addressing human needs in the community. Also, as a professional program evaluator, I admire the effectiveness of the Food Bank model. I'm impressed by the research that says it works better, more efficiently than other ways to fight hunger.”

Margaret looks forward to riding in Tour de Keuka each year with her son Nathan and is a vocal fan of the ride to anyone she meets. “I thought if I'd seen one Finger Lake, I'd seen them all, but not so. Keuka is a real gem! I hope more and more people in the Food Bank's service area will come enjoy this beautiful ride.” Thank you Margaret!


388 Upper Oakwood Ave.
Elmira, New York 14903

Phone: 607.796.6061
Fax: 607.796.6028
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-4 
(Summer hours Mon.-Thurs. 8-4:30; Fri. 8-1)

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The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN 20-8808059

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