Arbor to Harbor Charity Bike Ride 2016
A three-day, 335-mile bike ride across the state of Michigan to raise money in support International Samaritan.
In 2007, I first went to Guatemala on a mission trip in support of International Samaritan, an organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan that was founded by Fr. Don Vettese, SJ. IS works to “alleviate the gross poverty in garbage dump communities across the globe and raise consciousness about the living conditions of the poor in the developing world.” IS works in countries throughout Central America and Africa, building homes, building schools, providing medical care, and most of all building relationships with the local people. Through education and employment opportunities they empower the local people to break the cycle of absolute poverty. During my trip in 2007, we worked on schools and supported the education of the local population. We returned to the US when empty suitcases, having left everything but the clothes on our backs.
After returning from my trip, I wanted to stay involved with the organization but did not know how until I got the idea to do a charity bike ride for the organization. It is humbling to say that what started out as an idea kicked around at an ice cream store in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the summer of 2009 has now been a reality for over a half-decade. The Arbor to Harbor Charity Bike Ride enters its 6th year this year, having raised roughly $75,000 in the first 5 editions, all of which has gone to support various causes in Central America and Africa: the building of homes in Haiti, the construction of a nursery in Honduras, and a scholarship program in Ethiopia, among others.
This year we will again bike from Ann Arbor, MI to Harbor Springs, MI. We will complete this 335 mile trip in only three days. This task–done in the middle of the July heat–will be difficult, but that is intentional. We want the challenge to be arduous to underscore our convictions about the importance of this cause.
This year, our team’s goal is to raise money for the construction of two homes in Granada, Nicaragua. By doing this, we will be able to move families who are living in the garbage dump into permanent housing. Instead of living in the dump, beneath cardboard boxes, they will have a real roof over their heads. In addition, IntSam will transfer ownership of the property to them, as well. The cost of each house is $7,500. Thus, we are hoping to raise $15,000, an amount that comes out to around $2,500/rider.
The task is challenging, but the cause is more than worth it. Thank you for your support! -Bart
This year’s riders:
- Davis Argersinger, 21. Davis went to Pioneer High School (Class of 2013) and grew up in Ann Arbor. He now lives in Ann Arbor as a student attending U of M. This is Davis’ 1st year doing the ride.
- Anthony Chun, 26. Anthony went to Huron High School (Class of 2008) and grew up in Ann Arbor. He now lives in Evanston, IL. This is Anthony’s 5th year doing the ride.
- Matt Connolly, 29. Matt went to St. John’s Jesuit High School (Class of 2005) and grew up in Perrysburg, OH. He now lives in Maumee, OH. This is Matt’s 4th year doing the ride.
- Tom Kelly, 25. Tom went to St. John’s Jesuit High School (Class of 2008) and grew up in Sylvania, OH. He now lives in Chicago, IL. This is TK’s 3rd year doing the ride.
- Joe Miller, 26. Joe went to St. John’s Jesuit High School (Class of 2008) and grew up in Tontogany, OH. He now lives in Superior, CO. This is Joe’s 4th year doing the ride.
- Tom Moriarty, 27. Tom went to St. John’s Jesuit High School (Class of 2007) and grew up in Sylvania, OH. He now lives in Redwood City, CA. This is Tommy’s 6th year doing the ride.
- Bart Thompson, 26. Bart went to St. John’s Jesuit High School (Class of 2008) and grew up in Ann Arbor, MI. He now lives in Kansas City, MO. This is Bart’s 6th year doing the ride.