Letter: Rough Ride helps smooth the way for Free Clinic

I would like to pass on some information of interest about the Rappahannock Free Clinic and the organization’s annual Rough Ride fundraiser this coming Sept. 15.

The Rappahannock Free Clinic is a satellite site of the Fauquier Free Clinic Inc., and serves uninsured patients of both Rappahannock and Fauquier counties. The clinic in Rappahannock is open twice monthly in the Rappahannock County Health Department offices, using volunteer doctors, nurses and administrators to get medical care to people who would otherwise go without help. (The local health department generously opens it clinic space up to our volunteers after hours to allow us to do our work.)

Our clinic has operated in that site since September 2000, and has helped many people in that time! Just last year we provided 249 free care visits to 122 individual patients. Most of the care is from local primary-care doctors or nurse practitioners and our endocrine specialist. The clinic arranges diagnostic testing, radiology and specialty services, and purchases medication for our patients as needed.

This is the 16th year we have had the Rappahannock Rough Ride and it is one of the most fun and successful fundraising events held by any free clinic in the state. In addition to raising more than $20,000 a year for our patients, the ride serves as an important reminder that our clinic serves patients in Rappahannock County. Everyone involved with the clinic looks forward to a fun day every year riding the beautiful roads of the county. Cyclists and families have come to participate from Northern Virginia and the D.C. area, as well as the Charlottesville and Richmond areas to join with our locals for a great day of self-paced, multi-level cycling in Virginia’s most beautiful countryside. In years of good weather we have as many as 300 people out on the road.

Last year we moved the ride start to the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue headquarters at 10 Firehouse Lane. This gave us more parking, better check-in and registration and, most important, it allowed our riders to buy the fire and rescue squad’s all-you-can-eat breakfast before hitting the road! Our riders helped make the breakfast last year one of the most successful. They have generously invited us to come back this year to do it all over again. The breakfast is $8 for adults and $4 for children.

Our rides begin at 10 a.m. and there are multiple courses to choose from. The riders may choose to do a 12-, 35- or 60-mile ride over paved roads or the 20- or 30-mile true “Rough Ride” over roads both paved and unpaved. Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for ages 11 and younger. Riders can register online at fauquierfreeclinic.org until Sept. 13. On Saturday morning, Sept. 15, there is on-site registration available for $30.

Please help us get the word out about this fun event.

Sandi Kelly
Board member
Fauquier Free Clinic

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