ROCKVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — The annual “Tour de Midnight” bicycling fundraiser in Goochland is back for its sixth year on Saturday.
Over the past five years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia (EFVA) thanks to the event. Last year, more than $100,000 were raised, according to organizer Dennis Terry.
The reason for starting the fundraiser in 2016 came from his heart. His daughter Nicole suffered her first seizure in 2011.
“It’s very personal. When you have a child that has epilepsy or you have a loved one that has epilepsy you become very involved and very dedicated to trying to find a cure,” he told 8News Monday.
After being diagnosed, Nicole’s world changed. “You’ll have one third of the people with epilepsy that still don’t have full control of their seizures and my daughter falls in that boat,” her father said.
Terry, who also works with EFVA, organizes Tour de Midnight with hopes of creating a better life for Nicole and people like her. All proceeds raised go to EFVA. A portion of the money goes toward research while another portion pays for programs and support for Virginians with the disorder.
“Raising the funds that we have been able to raise each year with this bike ride has increased our ability ten fold to do that outreach, that awareness, that support for people who need it the most,” he said.
This year’s event comes as some within the epilepsy community are grieving after the death of Elizabeth Dalton, a young woman who lost her battle to epilepsy in October, 2020.
“Elizabeth saw first hand the great work the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia does to gain awareness for Epilepsy and to provide support for the 86,000 Virginians living with this disease,” her parents wrote on EFVA’s website.
There are three different ride options on Saturday: a 30k, 50k, and 100k. They all begin and end at the Midnight Brewery where beer, bands, food trucks and a “Fun Zone” will all be.
Terry said so far, there around 460 people already registered for the event.
It’s between $45 and $65 to participate, depending on which distance you chose. Pre-registration is open until Wednesday at midnight but you can register the morning of the race too. The longest race starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and goes from Midnight Brewery all the way to Lake Anna. The 50k starts at 8:50 and goes to Montpelier. The 30k starts at 9:30.
Midnight Brewery will also unveil a new special beer. Some proceeds from the beer’s sales will be donated to EFVA.