Ride to Remember Seeks Sponsors
The Rev. Charlie Barnard, pastor of First Baptist Church in Tellico Village, has teamed up with Our PLACE creator Sue Newman to raise money for the cause by riding 7,000 miles cross-country on a motorcycle with his wife and two friends.
Barnard and Newman are looking for sponsors for the Ride to Remember that will depart Aug. 26.
In the past, Barnard has raised thousands for organizations such as the Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County and Loudon County Habitat for Humanity. When Barnard met Newman, he was unsure about Our PLACE because he did not understand it. He was all in once he saw the need for a day center for adults with early onset dementia.
Newman earlier this year was given the goal to raise $200,000 in a year to accept a grant of land from the Tellico Community Foundation. Reaching that goal is still in the works, she said.
“We wanted to be a little more aggressive with this because we need to raise more money, so I originally set a goal of $50,000,” Barnard said. “We’ve since adjusted that goal with the virus situation. Even so, we haven’t even really started promoting yet, and we’re already over $22,000. So I think we’re going to do better than the new adjusted goal of $33,000.”
There are different levels of sponsorship for individuals. Corporate sponsors are included on T-shirts that will be given out to individual sponsors. Chick-fil-A, a corporate sponsor, will provide all of the meals for the departure dinner planned for Aug. 26. Barnard estimates the departure dinner will raise more than $2,000 at $7 a ticket. Tickets for the dinner will go on sale starting June 28.
Alcoa Good Times, another corporate sponsor, will provide maintenance and free tires for the motorcycles, Barnard said. He and his wife, Teresa Barnard, will make a $1,500 donation in their name. Merrill Lynch, an investment management company, is also on board with a $1,500 donation.
“Doug Jensen passed away back in January and his family was so supportive of this that they asked people in lieu of flowers to donate to Ride to Remember,” Barnard said. “So we put his name on the shirt just like he’s a corporate sponsor because his family and friends have donated somewhere around $3,500 so far.”
Individual sponsors play a big role. Barnard said most are from FBC. He wants that to change this year by making it a community effort.
Barnard has asked the four other churches in the community — Community Church at Tellico Village, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church — to match FBC’s commitment of $25,000.
Our PLACE has raised about $42,000, not counting pledges for Ride to Remember, but Newman said the cause still has a long way to go. People interested in the cause can keep up with fundraising through a meter found at www.ourplacetn.org, which is updated weekly.
“All of our fundraising plans, our initial fundraising plans had to be scaled down because of COVID,” she said. “But this is certainly, it is the largest portion of what we will have earned within this first year. … I think with the help of this ride, we’re going to be more than halfway there by the time (Barnard) departs. Maybe by the end of the year we’ll get there.”