Team Peacock 2021
You’re Along for the Ride!
I am sending this message to congratulate all who played a role in another successful outing for Team Peacock, Upper Iowa University’s group of cyclists who participated in last week’s RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Team Peacock raised over $19,000 from friends, family, and UIU supporters as part of this effort, with all donations supporting a variety of UIU initiatives. Week-long riders logged well over 450 miles while toughing out heat, hills, humidity and the occasional headwind…all while positively representing Upper Iowa along the ride.
I also want to take this opportunity to send out a few special thank-you notes to:
– All the bike riders who participated during the week – you can read more about these dedicated Peacocks by scrolling down this page.
– Our amazing support crew members, including UIU staff members Dennis Goddard, Mike Schrock, Ziyuan Li, Sierra Rinken, and lead RAGBRAI organizer Brenda Luzum, and UIU friends, Ron Michael and Cory Luzum. Your support is so GREATLY appreciated throughout the week!
– All the incredible host families who allowed Team Peacock to set up camp at their homes at overnight towns throughout the week. Thank you to Laurie Peters, Pastor Mark MacWhorter, Neven & Cari Conrad family, Clint & Molly Ackerson family, Bob & Michelle Lane ’14 and ’16, Lowell Tiedt ’71, and the Jason ’98 & Angela (Benson) Hill ’98 family for their kindness and support.
Lastly, Team Peacock would not be possible without the support of our dedicated donors. Please click here for a list of all who supported Team Peacock with a financial contribution. Your generosity and support is VERY appreciated, and makes a positive impact on our students and UIU! Team Peacock also benefited from a number of event sponsors, listed below:
- Sports Drink Sponsor: ($500) Colonel Bob King ‘87 & Dawson
- Coffee Sponsor: ($100) Hannah Winter
- Protein Bar Sponsor: ($100) William Loza ’13, ’21, Matthew Snitkey ’01, Johan Lundin and Colonel Bob King ’87 & Dawson
- Banana Sponsor: ($50) Leona Danker
- Chocolate Milk Sponsor: ($50) Diana Lamphier ’74
There is still time to make a donation to Team Peacock, and to enjoy photos and videos from the week, by checking out the content and visiting the Contribute section below. Thank you Peacock Family!
William R. Duffy II, Ed.D., Ed.S.
$19,246 out of $16,000 raised
Morning Dispatches from Team Peacock
Photos from the Road
Learn About our Riders!
Bob King ’87 & Dawson King
Riding for: Emergency Student Aid Fund (Goal: $1,000)
Bob is a retired Iowa Army National Guard colonel, having served 36 years. He served as the Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. This year will be his 30th consecutive RAGBRAI. Hobbies and interests include traveling, bicycling, gardening and outdoor garden railroads. Choo-choo! Dawson is a sophomore at Norwalk High School. He likes to bike and this will be his third RAGBRAI adventure – each mile with Grandpa Bobby. Dawson has also played baseball since he was a little guy and is currently on the high school team and a traveling team this summer.
Established in 2016 by members of the UIU Brotherhood, the UIU Emergency Student Aid Endowment Fund supports students facing moments of crisis – with a particular emphasis on assisting students unexpectedly needing to travel home. Aid will directly help students in need by relieving stress caused by an unforeseen financial setback, allowing them to stay focused on achieving their academic goals.
Lisa Blalock '00 & Joe Blalock
Riding for: Women's Basketball (Goal: $1,500)
Lisa played basketball at Upper Iowa and also started a “midnight kickball” league. This husband/wife duo are riding RAGBRAI as part of Joe’s sabbatical research – studying how cycling connects communities. Their plan is to piece together bicycle rides across the United States from Washington, DC to Seattle over the next two summers.
Erin Yourison & Pam Bascom
Fayette and Independence, Iowa
Riding for: Betty's Team Fund - Andres School of Education (Goal: $1,750)
The sister combo is baaaaack! Erin says: Team Peacock was very warm, welcoming and made me feel like I was a veteran rider the first year I participated. Being a relatively new UIU employee, Team Peacock is an amazing way to get to know more people associated with Upper Iowa. I am excited to be a part of the team and look forward to having another successful and safe ride!
Pam says: Team Peacock was great about taking me in as a last minute rider addition two years ago and letting me participate in RAGBRAI with the group! I had a wonderful time and can’t wait to ride again this year. Feathers Up!
Carol Langerman-Aten ’14, '16 & Mariea Schnor ’89, ’13
Fayette and Fairbank, Iowa
Riding for: Firth Dean's Fund - School of Business and Professional Studies (Goal: $2,000)
Carol and Mariea are not only wonderful friends but the best cycling sidekicks! They are among many veteran riders and Team Peacock would not be the same without them. These ladies are proud to consider themselves as part of the “early crew” which means they depart camp each morning no later than 5 a.m. to beat the biking traffic and heat. We always joke with them that they miss so much of the entertainment within the cities by passing through so early but they both agree the best part of RAGBRAI is the open road. Welcome back, Carol and Mariea!
Holly Wolff '10 & Tim Wolff '16
Riding for: Dennis and Marlene Murdock Adult Learner and Leadership Scholarships (Goal: $1,500)
The Wolffs say: We love to ride RAGBRAI to socialize with fellow cyclists and have a great time doing so while riding our tandem. Riding with Team Peacock is a great way to learn about colleagues outside of the office and connect with fellow alumni. Fun fact about us? We love to make our own sushi and have even demonstrated sushi rolling for UIU students at the cafeteria. Holly serves as Executive Assistant to the President and Tim is in charge of the UIU Printshop.
Andrew Wenthe '12 & Elissa Wenthe
Riding for: Liberal Arts Dean's Fund (Goal: $1,200)
Andrew and Elissa take the cake for being our one and only Team Peacock love story. They first met through the team in 2009 and were married just two years later. If you ask them how things are going – well, they have four beautiful children and both work for Upper Iowa. Andrew serves as Vice President for External Affairs and Elissa is the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Welcome back, Wenthes!
Chas Daker '72
Riding for: Wrestling (Goal: $500)
Veteran rider Dennis “Chas” Daker has been with Team Peacock for as long as we can remember. When asked why he rides with the team, he simply replied: I’m shy so it’s nice to get out. Peacock Wrestling is a huge passion of his and has been his fundraiser of choice for many years in a row. Daker was a three-time Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wrestling Champion at 142 pounds in 1970, and 150 pounds in both 1971 and 1972. In 1972, he was named the Most Valuable Performer by the IIAC. Chas was inducted into the UIU Hall of Fame in 2006. Funds raised will be directed to purchase a new stationary bike or treadmill for the wrestling room. It’s our pleasure to have Chas on Team Peacock!
Wern Cheen Chang '10
San Jose, California
Riding for: International Education Fund (Goal: $500)
Wern graduated from Upper Iowa University a little more than a decade ago, class of 2010. She came on a scholarship from halfway around the world (Malaysia) to complete her final year of education at UIU. She is proudly raising money for the International Education Fund. Today, she serves as Sr. Operations Associate working for a private wealth management company in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, running, practicing and teaching yoga. Fun fact? In 2018, she achieved one of the items on her bucket list by hiking to the base of the tallest mountain in the world, Everest Base Camp. Get ready to check another bucket list item off, welcome for the first time to Team Peacock, Wern!
Robbie Kohl '21
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Riding for: UIU Fund (Goal: $500)
This will be Robbie’s first ride with Team Peacock. When asked what he loves most about RAGBRAI, he says: meeting people from all around the world and of course the food!
UIU President Bill Duffy
Riding for: UIU Fund (Goal: $1,500)
We challenge you to find another university president who rides RAGBRAI each year, supporting and representing their school. Good luck! Dr. Duffy is a die-hard veteran rider who absolutely loves this opportunity to proudly wear his Peacock cycling gear and strike up conversations with people from all over the globe. One of his favorite things about this weeklong event is the sheer number of alums he finds along the way – it’s like he’s a magnet! Not a day goes by that he doesn’t roll in to camp with numerous stories of alumni visits throughout the day. Show President Duffy some love with a gift to his ride. The UIU Fund supports students and capital projects for the University.
Ashley Althoff ’18
Riding for: UIU Art Department (Goal: $500)
Returning rider Ashley says: I love RAGBRAI because it is a great way to connect with one of my favorite groups of people again (and meet UIU Alumni as we camp at their places)! I also absolutely love the way small towns get a chance to show themselves off and we get to see Iowa in a whole different perspective!
Graeme Armstrong ’01
Riding for: Betty's Team Fund - Andres School of Education (Goal: $500)
Welcome back returning rider Graeme! This UIU Adjunct Instructor shared that while working for Upper Iowa, he was provided the opportunity to travel and visit to teach or facilitate faculty development at 17 different UIU locations, including Hong Kong & Malaysia. Graeme is looking forward to a couple days on RAGBRAI this year and would appreciate your support of his fundraiser.
Amanda Jones ’08
Riding for: UIU Fund (Goal: $300)
Sheeeessss baaaaaack! Amanda is breaking away from her busy schedule to join Team Peacock for a few days on RABRAI. Owner of Barks & Wags pet service, their motto is “Our passion is pooches.” However, another passion must be her Peacock family because she sure is a proud alumni and we are grateful to have her on the team.
Kathy Wander ’10 & Rosaleta Heins
Clermont and Postville, Iowa
Riding for: Student Life Cabby Dean’s Fund (Goal: $1,400)
Can you believe – another sister duo on the team this year?! This is their first time riding Team Peacock. Kathy is the youngest of 13 kids and mom to 6 of her own. She received her Bachelors Degree with accounting as her major and banking/finance minor. Currently, she works as an accountant for Grizzly Coolers in Decorah, Iowa. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing, camping, boating, sewing, crocheting, campfires, her pets, biking – and especially her grandson, Isaac!
Kathy says: I enjoy the workout, the outdoors and it gives me more time with my sister doing something we both enjoy. My favorite part of RABRAI is the physical challenge it offers and being part of something so wild and crazy. It is cool to see the different bikes and people all coming together to hang out for a week – such an adventure! The hardest part is my sister’s rule: “no walking and no sag wagon for us.” In the end it feels so great to know you thought you could and you did it!
Riding for: UIU Fund (Goal: $1,000)
Big welcome to first-time Team Peacock rider Sammy Hilt. A good friend of Bob King, he was recommended to cycle with the Peacocks because we’re fun, professional, organized and ride for an amazing reason – to support students and grow the University.