One of the most successful event fundraisers in HRI’s history was Tour de Hort which started with one man, his bike, and a love of horticulture and spanned four years.
In the summer of 1999, Gordie Bailey, Jr. (Bailey Nurseries, Inc. [link to Gordie’s donor profile page]) celebrated his 64th birthday while en route from Oregon to Minnesota. The 2,100-mile ride was dubbed the ‘Tour de Hort” and raised over $350,000 in contributions for HRI. Two years later, in the summer of 2001, Gordie set out from Bailey Nurseries main office in Newport, Minnesota on the ‘Tour de Hort II’ and rode over 1,200-miles to Cleveland, Ohio arriving just in time for the American Nursery & Landscape Association convention. Bailey and the HRI board of trustees were delighted to exceed their goals and raised $550,000 for industry research.
In the summer of 2003, Gordie rode from Cleveland to Boston where the ANLA held its annual conference, arriving on July 17th. During the 1,270-mile ride, Gordie stop and visited as many industry friends as he could while HRI hosted site stops along the route. The goal for the ‘Tour de Hort III – The Finish Line’ was to reach a combined total of $1.25 million dollars for industry research which was raised by Gordie for HRI.