The 31st annual Rumsey Ride for STARS will be taking on a new look this year.
The annual event has raised thousands of dollars for STARS Air Ambulance. Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, this year’s 31st ride will not be running in the traditional sense, but avid riders will be taking their own path.
This year’s event is called ‘“Your” Ride for STARS.’
“We flipped the script,” said organizer Rob Richmond. “We thought about it as a group and chatted about it and things are opening up and people want things to do and thought why couldn’t we have it “Your” Ride for STARS? Riders could collect pledges and go and ride their own trail. Regardless of dollars to collect it gives people something to do as a family or a group.”
Participants can pick up a pledge sheet and blaze their own trail. Riders can collect pledges until August 9 and take a ride to do their part.
“We sent out the pledge sheets to most of our former riders, and said ‘go out and do the ride on your favorite trail and whenever you want to do it,’” said Richmond.
On top of that, there are still a number of fundraising events tied to the event that will still be going. This includes the Richmond STARS Raffle and an online auction from August 1 to August 9. There are also hats for sale to mark the event.
Another part of the event will be Richmond’s very own “Rob’s’ Walk to the Bar, 31 for 3.” On August 8 he will be setting out on foot from Big Valley and will be walking to the Bar TL Ranch.
“I was trying to dream up something different to do. In school we used to do walkathons…so I thought a walk from Big Valley down to the Bar TL Ranch that would be interesting. That works out to approximately 31 kilometres for 31 years,” said Richmond.”
His path will take place on the back roads and he will be passing many farms of Rumsey Ride supporters.
He is grateful for the support of local businesses and supporters.
“One thing we said from the start is we weren’t going to canvass businesses that were adversely affected by the pandemic because we didn’t think it was right to do that,” he said.
Despite this, many are showing support and donating to the event with cash or raffle prizes.
He says this year, more important than the dollars and cents of the ride, they just want to capture the community spirit that makes the Rumsey Ride so special. And he encourages anyone with any idea to come forward to participate and support STARS.
“One thing we may learn this year is how we can incorporate things when we get back to normal,” he said.