City Council hears ‘Tour de Change’ proposal

Published 8:59 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jannette Burns-Micheau hasn’t lived in Bainbridge full-time since she graduated from Hutto High School in 1961.

Since then, she’s visited and lived in various places like Montreal, Canada and Colorado, but she still considers Bainbridge home, and she’s working to bring a large event to town this coming October.

Based off of the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, which is the nonprofit’s signature fundraising cycling event, Burns-Micheau’s Tour de Change will aim to help people with diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

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“My desire is to bring it home,” Burns-Micheau said.

Burns-Micheau presented her plan for the event to the Bainbridge City Council at its Tuesday meeting.

“Obesity is running rampant and health costs have gone up,” Burns-Micheau said. “I think this is something that would bring tremendous exposure to Bainbridge, and I would like that because this is my hometown.”

The event would aim to attract cyclists from around the country and world to raise funds for diabetes research and promote healthy lifestyles.

“She has great ideas and is very passionate,” said Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby. “I need some more information, but we want to work with her and see what we can do.”

The event would also allow children and disabled persons to take part and would not only focus on diabetes but childhood obesity as well.

“Not only are they hindered from participating in a lot of things, but they also are ridiculed on playgrounds” Burns-Micheau said.

“I think [she’s] on the right track,” said Mayor Edward Reynolds. “I’d love to see it happen.”

City staff is working with Burns-Micheau to find a potential course that could end at the Earle May Boat Basin where food vendors could be set up.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle has become a passion for Burns-Micheau. She said that after a severe car accident in 2003 that left her with a broken neck and back, she worked to live healthier and lost almost 100 pounds.

“I did it through what I called a financially challenged diet,” Burns-Micheau said. “It can be done.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, “In 2013, more than 65,000 cyclists in 89 events raised more than $26 million to support the mission of the American Diabetes Association: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”