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By Sam Alcorn
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- It's Day 11 of the Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Across America and Team Bucknell has reason to celebrate this evening: they reached the milestone goal of raising $1 million for a scholarship fund for outstanding students from low-income backgrounds.
The three generations of Bucknell of alumni -- Walter McConnell '53, Frank Arentowicz '69, Pat O'Malley '07, Kyle Rosendale '07, and Jay Kosa '07 -- left Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 9 and expect to arrive in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 27 via one the nation's most grueling cross-country routes -- all with the goal raising money for scholarships as their way of giving back to their alma mater.
So far, 77 donors have contributed to the $1,013,281 total.
If the cyclists remain on schedule, Team Bucknell will end today's leg of their 14-state, 3,050-mile adventure in Marthasville, Mo., some 1,900 miles from the Pacific Ocean point where they started.
After cranking 173 miles Tuesday, the Bucknell team had a pleasant surprise when they pulled up to where they planned to stay the night.
Reported Arentowicz in his daily blog: "When we arrived at our lodge this afternoon, we had a handwritten note from Pat Flannery, the men’s basketball coach. He said, 'All of Bucknell is really proud of you and give thanks.' It was signed, 'The Men’s Basketball Family.'"
Email from classmate
Additionally, Arentowicz wrote, "My day ended tonight with an email from Ward Bower, fellow 1969 classmate and fellow Air Defense Officer in Germany in 1970-71. The last line of his email read, 'God bless America and Bucknell.' I think this says it all."
While the intrepid cyclists are past the halfway mark and have traveled the roads of six states so far, they still have 1,000-plus miles to go. And in West Virginia they still yet face some of the toughest uphill climbing of the trip.
Earlier this week, McConnell blogged about one particular day's strenuous effort. "I must admit I ended my day logging 86.5 miles at 18.6 miles per hour. I think I will sleep well!" McConnell turns 76 next month.
Saturday, Sept. 29
The Bucknell community will have the opportunity of meeting and greeting the cyclists when they return to Lewisburg on Saturday, Sept. 29. In a special pre-game ceremony before the 6 p.m. Bucknell-Marist football game at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, the cyclists will present the game ball at mid-field.
(Earlier updates: Sept. 17, Sept. 12, Sept. 11, Sept. 7, Aug. 20.)
Contact: Office of Communications
Posted Sept. 19, 2007