Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Sun Valley Tour De Force Cancelled. Hunger Coalition Staffers Run on Three Times the Grit
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Rico's Authentic Italian Restaurant has expanded its donations to The Hunger Coalition to include lasagna that feeds two to four people. PHOTO: Warren Benjamin
 
Thursday, May 7, 2020
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY WARREN BENJAMIN

The Sun Valley Tour de Force has become the latest of Sun Valley’s signature events to cancel due to the coronavirus.

But organizers are already working on plans for July 22-24, 2021.

 
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Paul Ries’ Curve depicting Blaine County coronavirus cases has yet to reach 500.
 

Whitney Werth Slade, co-director of the event and president of Intrepid Events, Inc., said the event, which offers sports car drivers the opportunity to push their cars to the maximum speed on Highway 75 at Phantom Hill, was cancelled for the health and safety of guests and the community.

Blaine County, she noted has one of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 and organizers decided the community was too vulnerable, given a healthcare system that could easily become overwhelmed. Additionally, she said, the Tour de Force had no guarantee that groups larger than 10 would be allowed to gather by July.

“The risk in producing an event with so many unknowns is too great,” she said. “This was a difficult decision to make, especially since we are raising funds for The Hunger Coalition. Ultimately our decision came down to the safety of our guests and the concern for our community. We know how disappointing this is for our fans, but it’s the right thing to do based on the current COVID-19 situation.”

Sun Valley Tour de Force hopes to see most drivers with 2020 runs roll their reservations into 2021, rather than request refunds. The 2020 runs sold out in weeks, with a waiting list of drivers eager to be added.

Those who would like to make donations to show support of the event can do so by contacting info@sunvalleytourdeforce.com.

The two-year grant agreement with The Hunger Coalition will be extended, allowing the Tour de Force to donate its proceeds to the nonprofit, which provides food to those in need, in 2021 and 2022. Of course, The Hunger Coalition sorely could have used the funds from a 2020 rally--it served more people in a month following the shelter-in-place order given to Blaine County than it did during the entire year of 2019.

“I sure wish we could help them now,” said Slade. “But, in fact, we have heard from several of our donors that they are making donations directly to The Hunger Coalition, as well as donations to Sun Valley Tour de Force. So, we are lucky for that.”

The 2021 Sun Valley Tour de Force will include three days of events, including high-speed runs at Phantom Hill, the Huckleberry Drive from Ketchum to Smiley Creek Lodge, hosted sponsor events, a downtown car show packed with rare collectibles and supercars and Saturday evening’s Cars & Comedy gala dinner show.

The Sun valley Tour de Force is just one event in a long lineup of auto events canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, noted Slade. Among the others: The Indianapolis 500, New York International Auto Show, Monterey Car Week and Pebble Beach tour d’Elegance, Beijing Motor Show and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

RICO’S EXPANDS DONATIONS TO INCLUDE LASAGNA

Rico’s Authentic Italian Restaurant is now donating lasagna dinners that feed two to four people to The Hunger Coalition, in addition to the pizzas the restaurant has been donating the past few weeks

“I’ve seen in the past two weeks the number of cars lined up at the Presbyterian Church in Ketchum increase,” said Owner Rico Albright. “It breaks my heart to witness that need and doing something to help The Hunger Coalition and the community is something I want to be part of.”

The restaurant is donating a pizza and lasagna to The Hunger Coalition for every large pizza the public purchases. Diners can call 208-726-7426 after 5 p.m. seven days a week and pick up their order curbside at 200 N. Main St. in Ketchum.

The Hunger Coalition is grateful for Rico’s support, said Jeanne Liston, executive director for The Hunger Coalition: “We’re still feeding three times as many families, distributing three times as much food, and our staff is running on three times the grit to make it happen.”

500 WILL HAVE TO WAIT

Blaine County’s confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus remained at 499 Wednesday as no new cases were reported. The state of Idaho recorded 31 new cases for 2,158 cases altogether.

TAKE YOUR GAZE OFF WILDFLOWERS LONG ENOUGH TO CHECK OUT THE FLOWER MOON

After you finish howling tonight, linger a little longer to view the Super Flower Moon, the last super moon of 2020. The best time for viewing is as it rises in the sky.

Super moons occur when the moon is closest to the Earth. The moon appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a typical full moon at those times. This particular moon is known as the Super Flower Moon because of all the wildflowers covering the ground at this time.

Don’t miss it. The next super moon doesn’t occur until April 27, 2021.

TESTING RAMPS DOWN

Idaho has conducted more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests. The most—1,100—were recorded on March 23. Recently, it has conducted just over a hundred a day.

SCHOOL BELLS RING AGAIN

Payette High School is reopening, but students will have to call teachers to schedule in-person sessions. And they will meet not in a classroom but in the gymnasium where first two and eventually 10 desks  can be spread apart.

Kids and teachers will be screened as they enter. And there will be a Plexiglas barrier between them.

The school has taken this step, the principal told KTVB, because some kids were picking up packets but going MIA afterwards. Eventually, this plan will be expanded to the middle school, as well.

Nampa Christian School’s 730 students returned to the classroom on Monday. They will attend class for five hours a day four days a week for the remaining three weeks of the school year. The schedules will be staggered to cut down on the number of students in the hallways or pickup zones at one time.

Students will be required to use hand sanitizer as they enter rooms, and custodians will continually sanitize bathrooms, lockers and desk with deep cleans overnight.

Nampa Christian is in Canyon County—one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

 OREGON STATE PARKS BEGIN TO REOPEN

Oregon is beginning to open some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities and day-use areas across the state. It’s expected ski resorts will be allowed to open fairly soon.

High-density areas, such as the Columbia Gorge and Smith Rock, will likely be among the last to reopen.

Camping opportunities will become available as soon as the maintenance that would have been done in March is finished.

NO MORE CHAFED EARS

A manufacturing teacher in Atlanta and his students have programmed their schools’ 3D printers to produce plastic extenders for face masks. The extenders relieve doctors and nurses of the chafed ears caused by their protective masks.

 

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