Registration open for fundraising bike ride

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Pictured is the new David Thompson Search and Rescue boat, purchased with proceeds from the annual Le Tour de Koocanusa bike ride. Pictured are, from left: search dog handler Susan Lippert and Bailey; boat unit leader Dick Balcom; and K9 Unit leader and search dog handler Terry Crooks with Beacon. (Courtesy photo)

Cyclists have until Aug. 8 to register for Le Tour de Koocanusa, the annual fundraising bike ride for David Thompson Search and Rescue. The all-volunteer organization’s only fundraising activity, proceeds from it help buy vital equipment.

The 83-mile ride is held in conjunction with the Riverfront Blues Festival the second weekend in August and takes place Aug. 11. Riders can register online at letourdekoocanusa.com.

“[The ride] is fully supported by our medically trained members at the three food stations, two hydration stations and in the chase vehicles,” a news release states. “The ride includes a ticket to the Blues Festival on Saturday night for the riders to relax and tour the SAR barn if requested.”

Proceeds this year helped purchase a multipurpose boat that “has made a huge difference for the search dogs and their handlers.”

“The new boat allows the search dogs to get close to the water so they can easily detect human scent from below the water’s surface,” the news release states.

David Thompson Search and Rescue’s search dogs are certified by the National Search Dog Alliance and have worked on national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Oso mudslide in Washington, as well as on local rescues and recoveries.

“During the recovery of an individual from the Thompson Lakes (in recent years), the search dogs accurately determined the location of the individual from the scent source in the water,” the news release states.

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