When the Tour de Guelph Committee met in March 2020, they knew that the traditional event wouldn’t be possible this year. COVID-19 just wasn’t going to allow a one-day event in June for 750 riders.
Like so many fundraising events, Tour de Guelph was at risk of being cancelled. The financial shortfall would be huge for the many local charities that benefit from funds raised at the event each year. With this hard reality in mind, the committee knew that cancelling simply was not an option. 
Where there is adversity, there is often opportunity. The committee put their heads together and decided to change it to a month-long event were individuals could register, fundraise and ride a route of their choice in a safe, physically distanced manner, any time from June 28 to July 26th. The Committee also opened the event up to people who preferred to walk rather than ride. They also set an ambitious net fundraising goal of $100,000.
The community responded overwhelmingly. Close to 300 registered riders and walkers came together and demonstrated record-breaking fundraising activity, raising over $100,000. That’s $20,000 more than what was raised last year! Tour de Guelph did what it sought out to do; it inspired the community to come together in spirit and cause. Some of the changes made this year may in fact be continued in future years.
The Tour de Guelph is an annual cycling event organized by Rotary Guelph South and Rotary Guelph Trillium, in partnership with the Foundation of the Guelph General Hospital. Over its first six years, it has become a major community event and fundraiser. The countless hours logged by Rotarians and community volunteers provides critical funding to purchase patient care equipment at Guelph General Hospital, and also supports many other local and international projects through the two Rotary clubs.   
The top fundraiser in Tour de Guelph 2020 is Charlie Barns, a member of Rotary Guelph South. As a result of his tenacious dedication to the cause, Charlie raised nearly $11,000 this year. Did we mention that Charlie is 83 years young? As a result of the efforts of people like Charlie, the $100,000 goal has not only been met, but surpassed. More importantly perhaps, the community has had an opportunity to come together to make a positive and lasting impact.