FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Evelyn, 570-577-3698 (o), 570-428-2506 (c)
Aug. 22, 2007
Bucknell-Penn alumni to bike 3,050 miles to raise millions for scholarships
What: 3,050-mile bike race by Bucknell and Penn alumni from Santa Monica, Calif., to Atlantic City, N.J., to raise $1 million for scholarships for each university.
When: Sunday, Sept. 9, to Thursday, Sept. 27 (19 days).
Who: Four Bucknell alumni (3 generations) and four Penn alumni. The four senior riders have a combined age of 262 years.
Route: Considered the most difficult bike route in the world, with 103,000 feet of climbing elevation.
Average Miles Biked Per Day: 163.
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Three generations of Bucknell alumni will race a team of Penn alumni across the country in September to raise $1 million for scholarship funds for each university to support outstanding students from low-income backgrounds.
In what is believed to be the first such effort by a group of university alumni to raise scholarship funds, the Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Across America for Scholarship will ride coast to coast in 19 days -- from Santa Monica, Calif., to Atlantic City, N.J.
Riding for Bucknell University are Walter McConnell, Class of '53, Frank Arentowicz, Class of '69, and Pat O'Malley and Kyle Rosendale, both Class of '07. Members of the University of Pennsylvania cycling team include Bruce Lederman, Class of '64, Ted Lansky, Class of '64, and honorary rider Mike Shockro.
"Alumni of two highly regarded universities are taking action to address the pressing needs of students and universities," said Arentowicz, one of the organizers of the ride. "We know our efforts and the gifts of our supporters will provide more access to Bucknell for families of all economic backgrounds. We know scholarships will help provide a more diverse student body for both institutions."
Along the coast-to-coast route, considered one of world's toughest cycling routes, meet-and-greet events are being planned in a variety of cities where the Bucknell and Penn communities can cheer on their teams. There will be a send-off event in Los Angeles on Sept. 8 and events in Phoenix, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. Others may be added.
The ride itinerary covers 3,050 miles from Sunday, Sept. 9, to Thursday, Sept. 27 -- about 163 miles a day. If all riders remain healthy, each will bike about 30 miles a day before letting the next competitor take over. The ride will cross 14 states -- California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
The team will ride 12 hours a day -- from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- followed by a sag wagon. During the course of the ride, the team will climb 103,000 feet of elevation.
The Bucknell riding team plans to arrive in Lewisburg, Pa., on Friday, Sept. 28, for a celebration. On Saturday, Sept. 29, the team will enter Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium before the Bucknell-Marist football game to present the game ball.
A Web site www.alumnibikerace.com will provide daily reports on the riders' progress, rider blogs, pictures, and video. The Web site also will provide information on donating to the scholarships and show a daily tally of the amount raised through midnight Sept. 27.
Arentowicz, a member of the Board of Trustees at Bucknell, will celebrate his 60th birthday during the ride on Sept. 24. He lives in Brentwood, Calif., and is an investment advisor at Kayne Anderson Rudnick in Century City, California.
An experienced cyclist and adventurer, McConnell, who will be 76 years old in October, lives in Lake George, N.Y., and is a second-year member of the Bucknell Alumni Board.
Arentowicz and McConnell just recently reconnected after not seeing each other for 38 years. The last time they had seen each other was when McConnell was the doctor for Arentowciz's high school football team in New Jersey. They finally met up again in 2006 at halftime of Bucknell's homecoming football game and started talking. Soon, plans for the cross-country alumni ride were hatched.
Note to media: Organizer and Bucknell rider Frank Arentowicz may be reached at 310-729-5881.
Director of Media Relations