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Tioga County Open Door Mission gearing up for fundraiser ride Saturday

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OWEGO (WBNG) -- The Tioga County Open Door Mission is holding a motorcycle and car ride fundraiser this Saturday to make sure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic don't stop them from continuing to help others.

This comes after the pandemic forced them to close their thrift store earlier this spring. Money from the thrift store helps fund multiple sober living facilities the organization runs which are geared toward helping those in recover from drug and alcohol dependency.

"When we were shut down there was no money coming in," said Executive Director Mary Sobol. "Money was going out because we kept the shelters going and we also had to purchase food for our three food pantries. So money was going out but none was coming in," she said.

Despite the challenges the pandemic created, outreach coordinator Dustin Root says shutting down the shelters and food pantries was not an option.

"During these times vulnerable populations don't stop being vulnerable, so we can never shut down we have to be here. You can't tell people like that no and we don't want to either," he said.

So they decided to come up with a fun way to raise funds while also giving community members a reason to get out and have fun.

"It's going to be good for us but it's going to be good for everyone else too I think. It's going to be a fun time," Sobol said.

The event starts with private shopping for attendees at the Mission's thrift store at 8:30 a.m. followed by a motorcycle ride from Owego to Sal's in Ithaca with the ride ending with a chicken barbecue at 32 Lyle Road in Barton.

There they'll also have 50/50 raffles, games and live music.

Jack Arpey

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