Ever wish you could combine your favorite activity with a charitable cause? One Vail resident found a way to do this by cycling while raising money for Tu Nudito. 

The name, Doug Holland, might not be familiar to many Vail residents, but take one glance at this hard-working, generous individual and you’ll be proud to call him your neighbor. He is a sales engineer who spends his free time working out and giving back. This year, he will ride in El Tour de Tucson. It wasn’t a planned ride, but when you see why he decided to race one more year, you will appreciate his efforts. 

Here’s his story in his own words. 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you lived in Vail? What brought you to this part of town?

My wife and I moved to Arizona from Colorado about 4 years ago. My wife had family on the east side of town, so we were looking for a place to live that was in this general area. We stumbled across a house for rent in Rancho del Lago and immediately fell in love with it. Vail is awesome because it’s far enough from Tucson to be quiet and peaceful, yet still an easier commute into town than places like Marana or Oro Valley.

I am a sales engineer for Level 3 Communications. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, cycling, crossfit, and beer festivals.

2. You’re riding in El Tour de Tucson. How many years have you participated in this race?

This year will be my 3rd participation in El Tour. In 2011 and 2013 I rode the century ride, this year I decided to try out the 75 mile event. Each year I participate in Tu Nidito’s Ride for a Child program, where I am paired up with one of the kids at Tu Nidito, and ride on behalf of that child. This year I am riding for all of the kids in Tu Nidito’s Vail satellite support group.

3. What made you want to ride again this year?

After last year, I really was ready to give up long distance cycling. 7 hours in the rain kind of took the passion out of it for me. Then Perimeter Cycling dropped Tu Nidito as the primary beneficiary of the race, and since Tu Nidito received a major part of their yearly funding from the race it left them with a sizable gap to bridge. I knew I couldn’t give up when they needed me most, so I am back in the race again, riding for a child.

4. Tell us a little bit about how you support Tu Nudito.

Tu Nidito is an organization that I am super passionate about. They provide support for children who have lost a loved one in their life, or are suffering from a serious medical condition. I got involved with them through El Tour, and from there I started volunteering. I work as a facilitator in support groups both at “the nest” in Tucson and their satellite support group here in Vail. They also have a yearly bereavement camp called “Camp Erin”, where we take about 80 kids on a weekend retreat. And of course I do a lot with the Ride for a Child program, this year I am on the committee and doing a lot of fund raising. I even help them out with their computers sometimes!

5. How can people support you on your ride this year?

I would encourage everyone to visit www.tunidito.org to learn more about them and what they do. If anyone is inspired to help, they can make a donation on my personal RFAC page at www.tinyurl.com/dmoneyrides14

6. When friends come to visit, where’s the first place you take them?

Valeria’s!! The best part of the Tucson experience is a Sonoran Hot Dog. Valeria makes a great Sonoran dog. That place is a Vail icon

7. What’s your favorite thing about the Vail community?

My favorite thing about Vail is being able to ride my bike 12 months a year in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. It’s nice to be able to have access to a ton of safe cycling paths right from my house.

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Lucretia Free