The ads for the tour say "For every successful journey, someone must take the lead." That someone was Executive Director of the United Texas Tour, Eddie Owens. Owens, along with dozens of others, were heading up the tour that would span 50 cities across the state, raising millions for an estimated 10 million cancer survivors in the United States. "It's a very sad day for all of us, not just Lubbock," says Owens.
The race has been canceled. Almost a year's worth of planning surrounds Owens, but he says someone else can better use the donations they would've collected. "In light of the growing humanitarian needs around the world, especially in South Asia, the board reluctantly decided not to continue pursuing sponsorship dollars at a level we would need," said Owens.
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Chair of the Lubbock Tour Committee, Jeff Chase, says athletes alone were expected to generate millions of dollars to the Lubbock area. The ten day race was also to be televised to an international audience. "It was going to be a chance for Lubbock, other towns and the state of Texas to show off on a world stage. You don't get that chance very often."
But the decision to cancel what was once a vision, almost became a reality and now remains an image was not an easy choice. "It's a business decision, but certainly not a business decision without great deal of emotional attachment," says Owens.
The committee hasn't forgotten the needs for cancer. When the initial announcement for the tour was made in February, United Supermarkets gave a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.