The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday September 29th

Bike to Uganda fundraisers roll into the Pit

The group, UNC Building Tomorrow, is hosting its annual fundraiser, Bike to Uganda, to collectively cycle the distance between UNC and the African country. Building Tomorrow is a national organization that builds locally sustained primary schools. Students can pay $5 for a 30-minute bike ride and $10 for a T-shirt or tank top.

The distance, which is more than 7,500 miles, represents the space between UNC and the school the fundraiser is helping build, said Natalie Sutton, UNC alumna and UNC Building Tomorrow founder.

“It’s something that’s really visible,” she said. “And it’s really unique and offers something active, which I think is something fun and always a great motivator.”

Throughout the week, entertainment is provided for the bikers. The lineup includes the Loreleis, the Carolina Irish Association, Cadence, Tar Heel Voices, Born 2 Step, the UNC Walk-Ons, UNC-Chapel Hill Chalkaa, UNC Carolina Vibe and Psalm 100.

Catherine Cromie, a first-year Loreleis member, said she was excited to help with the fundraiser. She said it was cool to see an event she had previously heard of brought to life on her own campus.

One of the event coordinators, senior Michael Schefke, said providing education to children in Uganda is important to him.

“Our entire goal is to build a primary school in Uganda, since Uganda is the youngest country in the world — over half their population is under the age of 15,” he said.

Senior Allie Rella, event coordinator, has been involved in Bike to Uganda since her first year.

“This program is really unique because we’re not just going over to Uganda and building the school ourselves,” she said. “The community is also invested in the project, so we just supply the funds, and the community themselves build the school.”

“They put their hard work, their sweat into building it, and then once the school is built, the community sustains it and Ugandan government pays for the upkeep,” she said.

Sutton coordinated UNC’s first Bike to Uganda fundraiser in 2010, her junior year.

This is the sixth year UNC Bike to Uganda has hosted the event, and in past years, they have raised enough money to build three schools, Schefke said. He said 100 percent of the proceeds go to building schools.

While cycling, senior Kim Halberg said she was excited to get the opportunity to participate in the event.

“I’ve seen it all four years and wanted to do it, but my first year here, I was too scared,” she said.

Now that she has finally tried it, Halberg said she loves it.

“It’s a good time to raise awareness for building schools in Uganda and to spend time with friends, as well as get some exercise and feel more connected to campus,” she said.

university@dailytarheel.com


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