By Sue McLain
Update on the Fund. Approximately $2,500 was distributed to Ride Managers in 2020; 50% of 50 ride entry costs were covered by EDRA; and over 20 different kids benefited from ride entry fee discounts subsidized by the organization.
A number of Ride Managers did not access the Fund in 2020. In some cases, Ride Managers said that they had such strong adult rider attendance, they were in a position to cover youth rider discounts entirely. This was a selfless and kind act and it reflects their support of youth in our sport for which EDRA is deeply grateful.
Historical information is provided further on in this report. It includes information on the number of ride events, eligible youth, and payouts. It also includes my personal observations for 2020 – all good news since the quantity of youth participating in our sport seems to be growing!
- On a per-ride basis, more youth attended rides in 2020 than in 2019. In 2019 we had 2.3 youth per ride event and we experienced 4.1 youth per ride event in 2020.
- Ride entry fees appear to have increased slightly. (This may be an anomaly for 2020, but perhaps a trend that will carry into 2021.)
- In 2019, 70% of eligible youth were supported by the Anna & Mary Memorial Youth Fund. In 2020, only 42% of eligible youth were supported by the Fund and 58% were supported entirely by Ride Managers. Again, this is because a number of Ride Managers said they had higher than expected adult turnout (likely because there were so few rides this past year). As a consequence, a number of Ride Managers felt they were able to provide discounts to youth without adversely affecting their overall financials, so they did not request reimbursement for any portion of their youth entries.
EDRA does not want to decline a request from any Ride Manger! Given the quantity of youth riders in 2020, the slightly higher ride entry costs, and the likely higher numbers of available rides in 2021, we estimate a potential need of up to $13,000 to support all the rides in 2021.
Because the 2020 Anna & Mary Memorial Ride and corresponding $5,000 contribution from Darlene and Max Merlich, along with fewer ride managers accessing the Fund in 2020, EDRA will start 2021 with approximately $9,000. Additionally, the EDRA Board is planning to make the 2021 Trout Lake 100 an additional fundraiser to support the cause – likely raising sufficient funds to cover requests for the upcoming ride season.