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Trek de Tellico Aiming for October



With Tellico Lake Rotary Club’s Trek de Tellico about two months away, members hope the fundraiser will be a boon for adult day center Our PLACE.

The trek, called “Walk to Remember,” will occur 9:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at First Baptist Church in Tellico Village and will feature various walks.

Participants can choose a two-mile walk through the streets of Chota neighborhood or a one- or two-mile hike through trails. Mike Maloney, Rotary Club communications director, encourages bringing pets. Registration for the walk is now open and the club is asking all Villagers get involved. If Villagers don’t feel up for the walk, but still want to give, they can sponsor a walker or donate to the cause. The minimum donation is $20 for walkers ages 12 and older. For walkers between ages 6-12, the minimum donation is $10.

Maloney said all proceeds raised by the Trek de Tellico will be donated to Our PLACE, a day center for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, to help reach a $620,000 goal. The trek will be held on the same day as the annual Tour de Tellico, a biking event, but Maloney said the club is focusing on promoting the walk.

The idea for the trek was spurred by multiple factors.

“One is because of the virus,” Maloney said. “We lost our one opportunity to raise money, and that was through our normal Rotary dinner. So we lost that source of funding, and we needed another source. People started thinking, ‘Well, the bike ride is fun, and we always get a good participation in that.’ But a lot of people don’t want to ride their bike. They just want to go for a walk, and if you look around the neighborhood, you see people walking all the time. So this is a way of basically consolidating the walkers in the neighborhood and raising a source of income for a project that we think is a very valuable asset to the community.” John Cammack, club president, said the dinner typically raises funds to sponsor scholarships for at least six charities.

“We said, ‘Let’s do it for one and advertise that’,” Cammack said. “Because we thought that would also help people get involved, because people get involved when they know the charity and want to help out, and walking’s pretty easy. So that’s how it all evolved. It was almost simultaneously, all in the same meeting really.” Fundraising efforts are off to a good start for Our PLACE. Representatives have reached 27 percent of their ultimate $620,000 goal, Jim Dezzutti, Our PLACE vice president, said. Of that goal, $200,000 is needed to secure a grant of land from the Tellico Community Foundation.

Dezzutti is confident the goal will be reached by September. The rest of the money raised will be used to build and operate Our PLACE.

“We’re hoping to break ground in January,” he said. “We still have to get all the bids back on the land. So we won’t need that amount to break ground, but that amount will pay for the first year for running the facility and, hopefully, cover the cost of constructing the building, and I’m sure once we have the bid and can agree on who’s going to be the contractor, those payments will be scheduled out based on what percent they are complete. That’s usually how that works.”

Maloney said Our PLACE will be a “big asset” to the community.

“Our PLACE is something that’s needed, and you’ve got every charitable organization in the Village doing something for it from the Baptist church all the way down to other churches and all the civic clubs like Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis, and I would just appeal to people to get involved a little bit and take a lot of effort to come out and walk one mile, two miles,” Cammack said. To register or for more information about Trek de Tellico, visit www.trekdetellico.com or email tdet17@gmail.com.


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