Bike for Kenya

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by bikeforkenya, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. bikeforkenya

    bikeforkenya New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
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    First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Peter Maher and I am seventeen-year-old junior at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. My parents and my sister live in Andover, Massachusetts, a small town north of Boston. Since I was young, I have always been inspired to help people. Whether it be helping someone out in school, on the basketball court, or working as a volunteer firefighter, it makes me feel good to know that I have had a positive impact on someone else’s life.

    About 18 months ago now, my father, Thomas Maher, partnered with Abdi Lidonde and Alice Mudiri, two native Kenyans, to form a school in Kenya for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS viruses. My father is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where Abdi has worked since the early 1980’s. While my father attended school, he and Abdi never crossed paths. It wasn’t until 2006 that they met each other, and learned of each other’s commitment to helping children. From there, the dream of starting a school in Kenya to help orphaned and impoverished children was born.
    Well, less than two years later, their dream for Kenya is becoming a reality. The Beverly School of Kenya has broken ground for their school, which includes a dormitory, a school building and a guesthouse. In addition, The Beverly School of Kenya has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through numerous fundraisers and from supporters throughout the United States. The scheduled opening for the school is for the summer of 2008 with 60 students. This number will grow to over 300 students, in just a few years.

    About eight months ago, my Modern World History teacher, Chad Weiss, assigned us a project. We had to raise twenty-five dollars in a one-week span. For my project, I chose to raise money for the Beverly School of Kenya. I realized that in order to make a true impact on an organization, I had to raise more than twenty-five dollars. Somehow, I raised a thousand dollars! Sure, that isn’t a lot in the long run, but it paid off in helping to provide a new water well supplied for the new school. No longer would children have to walk several miles before school to fetch dirty water to drink. That experience meant a lot to me. Since that time, Chad Weiss, Ben Sheehan, another KUA teacher, and three of their friends have ventured over to Kenya to help in the initial construction of the school, which has resulted in other fundraisers and donations to the Beverly School.

    This fall, I thought of another, perhaps initially, crazy, idea. I thought it would be great to ride my bicycle across the United States in support of the Beverly School of Kenya. Obviously, there was a lot of planning to be done. But, if I wanted to do it successfully, I needed a partner. I sat down one night, in mid October, trying to decide who would be crazy enough to embark on a forty-five day journey across our four thousand mile country. Within seconds, I thought of a good partner. Brian Moses, another KUA student.

    Initially, Brian, like any sane person, was reluctant. It took some convincing, but he eventually agreed to join me. I was thrilled! During the next two months, both of us began to plan seriously for our trip. We drew up training schedules, fundraising goals, and sponsorship proposals. We even created a website! Late in December, violence occurred in Kenya. Many of the people supporting and helping us with the ride questioned the safety and security of the Kenyan government. Their anxieties were quickly dismissed, and the message that the Beverly School team had passed on to us, was passed onto them. That message: The children need us now, more than ever. I ask you, as you sit reading this, look around you. Look around. You probably are indoors somewhere, shielded from the cold, with fresh water and food nearby. You have money in your wallet. You have electricity and heat in your home. You have an education. The Kenyan children don’t have any of this. It is time that something is done. It is time to make a change.

    So far, with nearly four months of planning down for our , we have finalized many things. First, our ride will follow the Northern Tier Route, laid out by Adventure Cycling, a company specializing in bicycle maps and routes. We will begin on June 1st, in Anacortes, Washington, a small town north of Seattle, located on the Puget Sound. We will finish approximately 50 days later, with 4200 miles behind us, in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 15th. This computes to almost 85 miles per day.

    For much more information, visit our web site at:

    Our fundraising goal has been set at $500,000. At this point, we need your help. We need your support. Please consider making a gift or a pledge to our ride. One option, which many have pursued is, to sponsor us per mile. For example, a individual could sponsor us $0.50 per mile, which would compute to just over $2,000. Please keep in mind, every amount and gift helps. Your gift will directly impact people’s lives. Children’s lives. Education is power, and we will provide these Kenyan children with education. If you wish to make a donation through the mail, via a check please make the check out to: The Beverly School of Kenya. You can mail your gift to my address, listed below. If you wish to contribute online, using a credit card, visit our website. We have set up a Paypal account through the Beverly School of Kenya. It is completely secure, and free. In the memo option, please mention: Bike for Kenya. If you wish to donate in person, or wish to contribute some other way, please contact me at any time.

    Any amount helps, and please remember all the gifts go directly to the Beverly School. In addition, your gifts are completely tax deductible. The Beverly School of Kenya is a
    501(c)3 organization. Lastly, your names will appear on both the Beverly School of Kenya and Bike for Kenya websites, as official contributors. If you wish to make a gift via check, please make the check payable to: The Beverly School of Kenya. I have listed my contact information below. Finally, even if you cannot make a gift at this time, I ask that you please forward this newsletter to as many people as possible. It is crucial that we spread the word of the ride. Please, take the time to send this letter to a couple of friends, a few family members, or collegaues that might be willing to contribute. The more people involved, the better.

    Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to writing to you all again very soon. If you are at all curious about the ride, or the Beverly School, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Warm regards,

    Peter Maher

    Bike for Kenya
    Peter Maher
    Kimball Union Academy
    Post Office Box 361
    Meriden, NH 03770

    Email: [email protected]

    Mobile: 978.886.3199