Bicycle tour to benefit San Mar

May 11, 2009

San Mar Children's Home will hold The Greatest Bicycle Tour of the Historic C&O Canal (TGBT) from Saturday, July 11, through Tuesday, July 14.

The ride along the 186-mile length of the C&O Canal from Cumberland, Md., to Georgetown in the District of Columbia has been an annual fundraiser for San Mar since 1989.

Registration is open and limited to 105 riders. As of Monday, 77 riders had registered, according to a news release from San Mar.

Participants pay a $35 TGBT registration fee and turn in at least $450 in pledges, or $400 for those riding for only the weekend. Prizes are awarded to those who exceed the minimum amount.


In the 20 years the event has been held, participants have raised more than $700,000, according to the release.

The event benefits the San Mar Children's Home in Boonsboro. San Mar operates four group-home programs for at-risk girls ages 13 to 18, and a treatment foster care program for girls and boys ages 18 and younger.

Money raised by TGBT participants helps cover the gap between state reimbursement for programs and the actual cost of providing care. Almost all of the youth in San Mar programs have some type of state funding that helps to pay for their care, according to the release. However, that funding typically only pays for about 85 percent to 90 percent of the actual costs of care.

In addition, San Mar is prohibited from spending any of those funds on any type of capital improvements or needs, the release says.

Brethren Mutual Insurance, Hagerstown, is the lead sponsor for the event. Other sponsors to date include Best Buy, Hagerstown, and Good Ground Consulting, Baltimore.

The Cumberland Rotary, Hancock Lions, Hagerstown Lions and Boonsboro Lions are among those who provide rest stops for the riders, and Wheelbase Bike Shop sends mechanics along to help throughout the tour.

More information about TGBT and sponsoring a rider may be found at

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