“It is a time consuming position to be in every year,” said Daigle in a recent phone interview. “It got to be too much.”
Daigle has been a part of the Tour de la Vallee since its inception 22 years ago, when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Someone put an Edgar J. Paradis Fund application on my desk, and from there I was overwhelmed with their monetary support,” said Daigle as she recalled the early years of her involvement with the foundation that has donated more than $611,000 to families in need over the years. “After their help and support, I said ‘I don’t know how, but I’ll find a way to pay you back somehow.’”
Over the next 22 years, Daigle threw herself into the Tour de la Vallee, working on the board and personally participating in the race itself.
“I was pregnant three times over the 20 years that I biked in the Tour de la Vallee,” said Daigle with a chuckle. “My kids all rode in the race in vitro and again when they were old enough to ride their bikes.”
During the time that Daigle has been involved in the event, she has seen the foundation help “so many families” through the monetary hardships that are accompanied by cancer treatments.
“Other organizations donate 60 percent or 80 percent, but we donate 100 percent,” Daigle said. “It’s always been that way, and it will continue to stay that way.”
When asked about her feelings towards stepping down from her position with Tour de la Vallee, Daigle indicated she is leaving with optimistic closure.
Elaine Clavette will take over Daigle’s position after this year’s event.
“I have been grooming Elaine for the last three years,” Daigle said candidly about Clavette taking the reigns. “I’m leaving this in very capable hands, and it feels like the right time.”
Daigle went on to say that she is leaving her position and the board completely, but she is doing so with the knowledge that the Tour de la Vallee will continue to grow and will continue to help the families in need, “because that’s what it is really about.”
Registration for the 2012 Tour de la Vallee can be found on the Northern Maine Medical Center website.
Participants may choose to ride a quarter-century (25 miles), a half-century (50 miles), a metric century (62 miles), or a full century (100 miles).