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Bicycle Tour of Colorado leaves nonprofits hanging

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"We have no funds. We are not sure when we will have funds."

That's the response the Delta Band Parents received from organizers of Bicycle Tour of Colorado, which made an overnight stop in Delta in June. Early in the year, organizers reached out to the community, looking for service organizations willing to provide meals for the event's 1,500 cyclists.

Welcoming an opportunity to raise funds, the band parents agreed to provide breakfast. They spent $700 for food with the understanding they would be reimbursed, plus come away with a profit of about $1,100.

Unfortunately, the $1,800 check from Bicycle Tour of Colorado bounced. The Kiwanis Club of Delta, which provided dinner, and chamber ambassadors, who served lunch, also came up short.

"That's almost $5,000 Bicycle Tour of Colorado owes the community of Delta," said Darnell Place-Wise, who was executive director of the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce during the planning stages of the tour.

In addition, Place-Wise made arrangements for a beer garden and live music, and facilitated use of Bill Heddles Recreation Center with city staff. Nancy Doerer, the facilities coordinator for the City of Delta, confirms the city received payment in full.

Jill Jurca, Delta Band Parents treasurer, reached out to the media as soon as she realized the band's check had bounced.

"As treasurer, I deposited the check they gave me and didn't think much about it until I was balancing our books this past weekend. The check bounced; they have no money. So now the band and others (Kiwanis, chamber, city) are out money," she said.

"This money was going towards our 2018 marching season to help defray costs for students as well as pay for much-needed improvements to our front ensemble carts and for backdrops for the field. We are saddened by this occurrence and now are scrambling to make up the funds to keep a healthy reserve for future years and get the much-needed equipment.

"The Bicycle Tour of Colorado should be held accountable."

Place-Wise explains the cyclists not only paid to participate in the ride, they also had the option of pre-purchasing meal tickets at each of the stops.

She said 110 meal tickets were sold for lunch, 105 for dinner and 180 for breakfast. "Bicycle Tour of Colorado got paid for those meals," she said.

Extra meals were prepared for cyclists who opted for pay-as-you-go meals.

After the story hit Front Range media, Place-Wise said a Denver woman called with a $1,000 donation to the band.

And despite the fact they're out $1,365, the Kiwanis Club of Delta voted Tuesday to make a $500 donation to the band. "The club won't fall apart because we didn't get our $1,365," said club president Al Formicola. "But the band is different."

"That's what's great about living in a small town," said Place-Wise.

In an email to Jurca, the mother-daughter tour organizers explain that some sponsors did not come through with money promised to the Bicycle Tour of Colorado.

"If we had the funds right now, we would pay you immediately. We do not have the funds. We are doing what we can to resolve the issue."

On behalf of both the chamber and the band parents, Place-Wise said she's outraged over the turn of events. "We have regionals coming up and we have a good chance to qualify for state. Since state competition is in Pueblo, that will mean meals and two overnight stays in a hotel. "It's a lot of money, and that $1,800 would have helped."

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Bicycle tour, DHS Band
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