for student scholarships and Iowa disaster relief
FAYETTE, Iowa (June 23, 2008) -A group started four years ago by Upper Iowa University President Alan Walker will again participate in RAGBRAI, hoping to double the money they've raised for student scholarships.
Team Peacock started small in terms of riders and total amount raised but has grown significantly over the years. "Our first team had only seven riders and raised a total of $17,000 for our students," said Walker. "Each year we have become a stronger presence on RAGBRAI, increasing the amount of money raised and number of riders." According to Walker, UIU has raised over $127,000 for student scholarships. "The group's goal this year is $100,000."
Team Peacock consists of UIU faculty, staff, Board of Trustee members and Walker. In addition to a large support crew to assist the team, UIU hosts a booth in each overnight town that has become a popular gathering spot for other riders, townspeople, and alumni.
Response to the team's efforts has been positive, especially from students. "It is not a surprise that our faculty would be out there in the summertime...raising money for the students. It's a great thing, and it's good to know that's who's teaching me, that they care about my success, and they care about me graduating debt free," says recent UIU graduate and scholarship recipient Lauren Smith.
This year, in light of all the hardships Iowans have endured due to weather-related incidents, Upper Iowa will also offer silicone bracelets at their booth for a donation. The blue bracelets will be embossed with the phrase "Upper Iowa Cares." Half of the proceeds will go to the UIU scholarship fund and the other half to be donated to Iowa chapters of the American Red Cross for disaster relief.
Iowans make up 36% of Upper Iowa University's total enrollment of nearly 6,000 students. "We have students and alumni who have been directly or indirectly affected by the disasters across the state this year," said Walker. "As an Iowa-based school for over 150 years, we want to do something to assist all Iowans and to let them know we care."
For more information about Upper Iowa University, Team Peacock, or an "Upper Iowa Cares" bracelet, go to www.uiu.edu.
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