For a few years Northwest Valley Connect sponsored a “Motors and Meals” fundraising event that included a car show, food trucks, silent auction, raffle and live music.
The events were successful and helped to finance the annual 11-12 percent growth in services. Plans were underway for another event when the pandemic changed everything.
Rather than just cancel the event, the NVC board of directors decided to change the format and use it as an opportunity for even more people to go to participate, and it would be even easier for them to do so.
“We saw this as an opportunity to go to the residents, rather than have them come to us,” said Bonnie Boyce-Wilson, NVC board chairwoman.
Called “Motors and Heels,” participants in this event can walk, run, ride a bike, use a wheelchair, roller skate or use a treadmill wherever they like for any length they like. They can do it alone or in a group. It will run for several days — Monday-Monday, Feb 8-15 — and participants can be involved as many or as few days as they choose.
This is considerably different than most other walking and running events that have a specific length and starting time and place and everyone runs or walks together. This “Motors and Heels” is a virtual event allowing anyone to participate anywhere, and even giving participants several days to do it. People can also participate from anyplace.
Kathy Chandler, NVC executive director, said participants will still have some of the benefits participating in a much larger event. Entrants will receive a T-shirt and medal before the event.
“Participants need to feel they are part of something much larger than just themselves or a few others,” Ms. Chandler said.
Participants can submit photos to be posted on the NVC Facebook page.
Ms. Boyce-Wilson pointed out that friends and relatives all over the world can participate in this event, not just those living in the Northwest Valley.
“Some winter visitors are staying away this year because of the pandemic, but they can still participate from their other hometowns. The money we get from participants and sponsors allows us to provide needed transportation to those who need it,” she added.
Major corporate sponsors are Home Instead and Ascent Audiology and Hearing.
Requested donation for registering is $35 per person, but participants who register before Friday, Jan. 15 are get a discounted $30 early registration. The deadline for registering is Monday, Feb. 1. Participants are also encouraged to get sponsors to contribute for every mile they walk, wheel or ride.
People who want to join in the fun while helping others can register online at northwestvalleyconnect.org and click on the News and Events tab in the upper right hand corner.
Northwest Valley Connect is a non-profit organization to fill a void providing personal transportation services to seniors and others in the region who need them.
NVC was started in 2015 providing 255 rides, and it has grown rapidly since. In 2019 the volunteers and staff provided 17,000 rides to residents for medical visits, food bank pickups and more. These services are provided by volunteers using their personal vehicles or NVC vans with wheelchair accommodations.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Ball is a volunteer with the Northwest Valley Connect Communications Committee.