Author Topic: Bike for Kenya  (Read 2562 times)

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Offline bikeforkenya

Bike for Kenya
« on: January 28, 2008, 11:07:30 am »
Hello All,

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
elses 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 1980s. While my father attended school, he and Abdi
never crossed paths. It wasnt until 2006 that they met each other, and
learned of each others 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 isnt 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. During the next two months, I began to plan seriously for
the trip. I could not do it alone though. I received and continue to get
help from my father, my mother, my friends, teachers, and colleagues.
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 dont 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 done, 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. We will be staying at various places during out trip, which could
range from churches, to motels.

For much more information, visit our web site at: There is trip and route information,
contacts for the school, a donate page, and even a blog! The site is
updated almost daily, so please bookmark the page and check back

Our fundraising goal has been set at $500,000. If you wish to donate,
or wish to contribute some other way, please contact me at any time.
I have listed my contact information below. 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

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


Mobile: 978.886.3199

This message was edited by bikeforkenya on 1-29-08 @ 8:06 AM