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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Success of Barrow based charity bike ride celebrated

THE most successful Barrow based charity bike ride in the history of the Tour de Furness has raised more than £37,000.

More than 550 cyclists saddled up for the Tour de Furness on September 8 to raise money for their chosen charities.

The annual cycle ride, organised by the Rotary Club of Furness, raised £8,000 for St Mary’s Hospice and other local charities chosen by the riders.

The spectacular amount was celebrated at a presentation night held at Abbey House Hotel, Barrow, on Wednesday.

Individuals and teams who had raised the most money were among the guests and benefactors invited to celebrate the successful event.

The Tour de Furness was the brainchild of the late Bill Bartlett who launched the event with 15 riders in 1995.

It now attracts over 550 participants who can choose from a five, 13 or 50-mile ride.

Mr Bartlett’s son, Will, presented the Bill Bartlett Memorial Trophy to top fundraiser Martin Leslie, of Rampside Gas Terminal’s Terminal Trundlers, who raised £3,410.

Dalton Rugby Club, Wallabarrow Wheelers and Dalton Leisure Centre made up the top four fundraising teams, collectively raising £9,889.

The individuals who raised the most money were Martin Leslie, with £3,410; Chris Chinn collected £1,959.78 and David Smith raised £1,000.

They received cheques for the RNLI, Medecin Sans Frontiere and the British Heart Foundation respectively.

Around a decade ago the Rotary Club of Furness introduced the five-mile ride with the idea that people would progress from the family fun ride to the 13 and ultimately the 50.

The young rider who raised the most money was Will Morrow, who received a £100 cheque, split between the Jake Ellis Fund and The Christie Hospital.

Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Furness, Alan Todd, said: “The Tour de Furness raised over £37,000; in fact we’ve still got money coming in. We’ve had £700 in the new year, so it grows. Out of that, so far we’ve distributed £27,365 and there will be more to go as the year progresses.

“For anybody who’s going to ride and collect money this year, can you make sure you put your name and address and tick ‘gift aid’ on the sponsor forms?

“Without that information we can’t claim gift aid and we’ve probably lost thousands of pounds over the years because of that.”

Planning has already started for this year’s event which will be held on Sunday September 7, with all rides beginning at Roose Conservative Club.

Dave Salt, Tour de Furness committee member, said: “The number of riders has increased year on year and it would be great if it carried on doing so. “Maybe another 100 riders would be nice. Another growth year would be excellent because the more riders we have, the more money we can raise and the more people we can help.”

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