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On a Roll

Students skate, pedal across the nation to raise funds

Whether it's lone skater Jack Sisson '09 or fourteen bicyclists, Dartmouth students are crossing the continent this summer to fight hunger and homelessness. Sisson, logging about 50 miles per day on in-line skates, is skating for Action Against Hunger. He began his odyssey in Yorktown, VA and is heading for San Diego. The cyclists are on a two-month long Bike & Build trip from Portsmouth, NH to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sisson

Jack Sisson ’09 is in-line skating across the U.S. to raise funds for Action Against Hunger. Photo courtesy Jack Sisson ’09

 

The Tucker Foundation has close ties to Bike & Build, and Dartmouth commits to providing riders and a trip leader. Billy Corbett '10 is in charge of selecting this year's crew, having biked the northern route last year. "It taught me a lot about grass-roots efforts," he said, "and about how you need one-on-one contact to convince people to make a commitment to solve a common problem."

Bike & Build organizes its cross-country rides to benefit affordable housing. Funds the students raise go to the Upper Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity and to COVER, a White River Junction, VT agency that helps low-income families repair and maintain their homes. "Bike & Build is one of our core supporters," said COVER Business Manager Nina Seaman, adding that the organization's most recent grant through the cycling program was $10,000.

The Pratt Tribune in Kansas caught up with Sisson on July 16 shortly after he rolled out of Wichita, reporting that he had raised about $3,000 so far. As Dartmouth Life went to press, that number had climbed to $7,500.

When they have Internet access, most of the students chronicle their cross-continental adventures on blogs.

Craig Lee '08 entered a heartbreaker on August 5 somewhere outside of Wolf Point, MN. The Bike & Build cyclist ended a significant relationship while on the road. He broke up with the wind. "I can't deal with your temperament," he wrote. "You're fine in the morning and at night, but the tantrums during the day are too much. We're just not moving in the same direction anymore. You're headed east and I want to go west."

By SARAH MEMMI

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Last Updated: 8/20/08