A (long) bike ride for a local cause
To the Editor:
There are many charities that use runs and rides to raise funds for worthwhile causes. As a participant cyclist in several of these, I have often wondered if the ends justified the means. Does my commitment to a physically challenging goal make my request somehow more deserving? I think so, especially in the case I present here.
I have participated in a 210-mile bike ride for the past six years which has raised over $150,000 for the middle school in Athens where I taught until this year. This event has grown each year since 2002, recruiting teachers, administrators, school board members, parents, and local business as participants. It has become a model fund-raiser and team-building activity. We train throughout the year to prepare for our spring “ride to the sea,” and these training rides provide an opportunity for us to meet beyond school hours, to build interpersonal relationships, and “talk shop.”
I feel that the camaraderie and trust that it has built among the participants is even more important than the significant money we raise annually to support extracurricular school programs. I am riding again, but I am representing a new team this year, Morgan County High School, where I teach Freshman Biology.
My goal is to raise money for programs I want to help establish - a summer program to help promote academic motivation, and a coastal ecology field trip to Sapelo Island during Fall Intercession. I think it obvious to most Morgan County residents that we have something special here in our public schools.
For me this ride during my spring break is an opportunity to participate in a very positive activity, contrary to some of the pessimism expressed nationally towards public education. Rather than complaining, we are working for change, literally. We are raising funds and awareness, supporting programs which will benefit our students and setting an example of positive action. If you would like to support me, please send a tax-deductible donation, a check payable to “Morgan County High School,” memo “Sapelo Program,” to this address:
Morgan County High School, Attn: Karl Scott, 1231 College Drive, Madison, GA 30650. If you would like to join me next year, I want very much to bring this team-building, fitness activity to Morgan County. I hope there is enough community support to have our own event in the spring of 2010.
Please contact me by mail or e-mail if you are interested in joining this effort as an organizer, a novice, or an experienced rider. Thanks!
Freshman Biology Teacher,
Morgan County High School
Printed in the April 30, 2009 edition.