FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Community Transportation Network’s 8th annual Dine 4 Rides Gala brought in thousands of dollars Thursday night.

It was at PFW and in-person after the event was virtual the last two years because of the pandemic.

Nearly 300 people came to the vintage carnival-themed event to support the organization that gives rides to people who don’t have other transportation. Many rides are to necessary medical appointments like dialysis and chemotherapy.

“Many of our riders don’t have family in town and have some friends, but they might not be reliable and if you’re in a wheelchair you can’t get in a normal car so you need our lifts,” CTN Executive Director Justin Clupper said. “We know we did about 25,000 medical rides alone and we could do 20,000 more if we had the philanthropy, drivers and vehicles to do it.”

During the pandemic, CTN not only provided medical rides, it worked to respond to the evolving needs in the community by bringing people experiencing homelessness to special housing options, taking people to get vaccines and gave free rides to the grocery store or food bank for nearly 100 households each month.

The more than $150,000 raised at the Thursday event will fund more than 5,000 rides on CTN.