Below is a message from GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson. You can reach her at…
Never Surrender Inc. is known as a powerhouse for fundraising—helping fight the battle against ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) affects over 18,000 people in the United States. Best known for their signature events such as the Blackwoods Blizzard Tour and the Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament, the Never Surrender Inc. organization made a decision in 2022 to add another event to its portfolio: The Tomassoni Tour – Cycle for ALS.
The Tour was an idea that started a few years ago by a local, Todd Lauer, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. Todd was tasked by his physician to become an advocate in the fight, asking, “What are you going to do about this, Todd?” He and his wife, Jen, had the idea to form a bike ride in Northern Minnesota but weren’t sure where to start.
Fast forward a few years, when Senator David Tomassoni was diagnosed with ALS, he and Todd became friends through the diagnosis. Before the Senator passed away, Todd and Never Surrender Inc. were able to share with him the legacy idea behind the Tour. The rest, as they say, is history. To learn more about Senator Tomassoni and his legacy, click here.
The Tomassoni Tour – Cycle for ALS is a multi-day trail ride that has and will take place on the third weekend in September on the Mesabi Trail. The Tour follows a similar model to other fundraisers, raising money for the entry fee and offering raffle prizes and/or swag as a thank-you for participants’ efforts.
However, Never Surrender Inc. goes a step further. Cyclists’ fundraising minimums qualify them for lodging, meals, trail/bike support, snacks, VIP Hospitality Rooms, custom riding gear, and more.
All cyclists pay a $200 deposit to reserve their space, and Never Surrender Inc. provides a host of fundraising tools, including raffles for snowmobiles, cash prizes, and even a Winnebago. The fundraising and incentives available for each cyclist allow them to easily meet their fundraising minimum within a few weeks. The Tomassoni Tour cyclists can choose between two different ride lengths—the full course (100 miles over two days) or the half course (50 miles over two days), depending on their comfort level. Cyclists are also given the choice of riding their e-bike, which several cyclists opted for in 2023. Many of them were thankful for the electronic assistance as they were navigating the hills of the Mesabi Trail this year!
The inaugural ride was a huge success, exceeding its $100,000 goal and raising over $144,000, and donations are still coming in. In 2023, the Tomassoni Tour Planning Committee also recognized the efforts of Todd Lauer by creating the “Todd Lauer Award,” which will be given out in perpetuity of the event. To learn more about Todd and the history behind the Tomassoni Tour, click here.
Registration will be opening soon as planning is underway for the event on September 19-22, 2024. If you want to participate in the 2024 Tomassoni Tour – Cycle for ALS, please contact email@example.com. Never Surrender Inc. is known for cultivating relationships through their fundraising events and keeping the money local, most of which stays in Minnesota and the surrounding states. Learn more about the organization at www.NeverSurrenderInc.org. Special thanks to Dangerbird Productions for donating their photography services to document this worthy cause.