FAYETTE, IA (July 29, 2009) -- Upper Iowa University ended its fifth consecutive year of participation in a statewide bike ride by breaking its fund-raising goal--twice.
Team Peacock topped its original pledge of $105,000 for student scholarships before riders and crew left July 18 for the seven-day event known as RAGBRAI. The revised goal of $115,000 has also been exceeded; the final tally could be as much as $120,000.
"What started modestly several years ago with six riders has grown into the most successful fundraising event in Upper Iowa history," said President Alan G. Walker. "The continued growth in participation and contributions is not just exciting, it's amazing."
Walker is credited with starting Team Peacock. He has participated every year, biking the entire route.
Since its inception, Team Peacock has raised nearly $350,000 through pledges and sponsorships from individuals and corporations. Every dollar contributed goes towards student scholarships. A tentative goal of $150,000 has been set for next year's ride. The team's longer term goal is $1 million.
Members of Team Peacock include Upper Iowa students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends of the university. Due to the logistics of hauling bikes, tents, luggage, and people, as well as finding space large enough to accommodate the group overnight along the route, the planning committee this year limited the team to 35 riders and about a dozen support crew members.
Team Peacock also uses RAGBRAI to enhance awareness of Upper Iowa and its programs. The university sponsors a booth in the overnight towns, which is visited by thousands of riders and residents over the week-long ride.
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