Keizer Rotary is sponsoring a family bike ride Sunday, June 29, that will double as a fundraiser to end polio.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is matching all money raised 2:1 as part of its efforts to fund polio research and get vaccination programs into countries without them. That means the $25 registration fee translates into $75 worth of research and vaccinations.
“We thought long and hard about how we wanted to run it, and we didn’t want people who want to do the ride to have to go out and fundraise independently,” said Hersch Sangster, co-coordinator of the ride with Chuck Fisher.
Additional donations to the cause are welcomed, but not required. The goal of the inaugural ride is $1,000 before the Gates Foundation match.
About 1,000 people are diagnosed with polio each year. Earlier this year, doctors in California diagnosed about 25 children with a form of the disease that attacks motor neurons and can cause flaccid paralysis.
Participants will have their choice of two routes. One is a family-friendly 12-mile loop to Mission Bottom. The second is a 40-mile loop that will take riders to Mt. Angel’s Fisher Park. Both rides start at Volcanoes Stadium where day-of registration will be available from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Registration forms can also be downloaded, and maps of the routes viewed, at keizerrotary.org, or picked up in local cycle shops. Sangster and Fisher are still in need of a bike mechanic to do checks and minor repairs at the starting line.
Sangster recommends attempting the 40-mile route only if the rider has traveled at least 20 miles in a day on his or her bike.
“We will have SAG (support and gear) vehicles, and I’m going to be the back-up. If somebody can’t make it, we’ll be able to pick them up,” Sangster said.
Both routes include some minor inclines, but nothing that should keep people from giving it a shot.
More than 40 riders are already registered.
Riders must wear helmets that meet Consumer Product Safety Commission Standards to take part in either ride. A spare tube, air pump, repair tools and at least one water bottle are recommended.
Sangster welcomed individuals looking to engage in friendly competition, but the ride itself is not a race.
“Our whole goal and purpose is a good, fun ride,” Sangster said.
Tandem bikes and trailers towing young ones are also allowed.
Earlier this month, Keizer City Council president Joe Egli announced he will not be running for mayor or council.
Others are running, however.
Mayor Lore Christopher has announced she is not running for an eighth term this year. So far, current councilor Cathy Clark is the only one who has filed to run for mayor.
There are three open council seats: position 4 (currently held by Clark), position 5 (currently held by Egli) and position 6.
The position 6 is currently held by Jim Taylor, who announced last year he will not be running.
Brandon Smith is currently the only person who has filed to run for Taylor’s seat. Former longtime city employee Roland Herrera has filed to run for Clark’s current seat, while Amy Ripp and Matt Chappell have filed to run for Egli’s seat.
The election filing period ends Aug. 26.
Smith was the first to file, doing so early – very early.
“I look forward to continuing my service to the community and plan to run in the 2014 election for City Council position No. 6, currently held by Councilor Jim Taylor, who has informed me he will not seek re-election,” Smith wrote in May 2013.
Smith posted a message on his Facebook page June 10.
“Last year, I announced my intent to run for election to position No. 6 of the Keizer City Council,” he wrote. “This week, I have taken the next step in that process by completing the official candidate filing forms.”
Christopher put an endorsement of Smith on Facebook.
“I am absolutely, positively, without any doubt thrilled and excited that former Keizer City Councilor Brandon Smith is running for City Council,” she wrote. “Actually he never really left us…he has been working on the Keizer Parks Advisory Board, the Big Toy Task Force and the Storm Water Task Force for the past two years. We need his four-plus years of experience back on council. He is running in position No. 6. He has my vote and he should have yours.”
Clark and Herrera posted Facebook messages on June 4.
“This morning I picked up my petitions for running for city council,” Herrera wrote. “I will be gathering signatures this week. I am excited to talk to people of our great community.”
Clark asked for support.
“The paperwork is turned in,” she wrote. “Time to gather signatures to put my name on the ballot…Here we go, friends. Five months to the election. Let’s do this.”
Ripp posted a Facebook message on June 15.
“I am proud to be a candidate for Keizer City Council seat 5,” she wrote. “I am a Keizer girl at heart. I grew up in Keizer and I have been proud to serve Keizer in many capacities for many years. I am proud to be a candidate and I value your support.”