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Reach Inc. Race for Independence held virtually

More than 100 people joined the virtual race.
Posted at 10:30 AM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 12:30:05-04

BOZEMAN — Reach Inc. held its 13th annual Race for Independence Run on Saturday.

But this year, it was held virtually and is another example of how the organization is working hard to protect its clients during the pandemic.

The Bauders started the run from their driveway. Firecrackers signaled the start of their race, and they were on their way.

“We are doing the Reach Race for Independence today at home, to be social distancing from everyone else,” said Gretchen Bauder who participated in the race with her family.

The event is usually one of the biggest fundraisers for Reach Inc., which provides residential vocational and transportation services for adults with developmental disabilities in the Gallatin Valley.

Reach Inc’s Community Relations and Development Director says this year the event had to be reimagined in order to keep their clients safe and do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an important event, partially because it helps us get people information about what we do. Especially because our clients get to be part of it,” said Dee Metrick with Reach Inc.

“Also, we need funding. There’s a lot of challenges with COVID, there’s unexpected expenses, there’s a reduction in our income for so many different reasons.”

COVID-19 has posed many challenges for Reach’s clients since many have health conditions that make them more vulnerable.

And safety protocols have come at a high cost for them.

“They love their families and they miss their families and they have not been able to visit with families since early March,” said Metrick.

“We have to keep them safe and there has been advice from the Gallatin County Health Department not to have visitors. We’re following that advice.”

The Bauders joined more than 100 participants in the virtual run. And all agree, now is the time more than ever to show support.

“We’re pretty dedicated to Reach in general. I feel like they do a great job supporting their clients and getting them independent and the ability to have them be productive members of society,” said Bauder.

Another way you can help support Reach Inc. is by donating PPE. That includes gloves, gowns, goggles and most importantly surgical masks.

Click here for more information about how to support Reach Inc.