The very first Bike to Uganda
June 16, 2011
Although our founder, George Srour, hails from the College of William & Mary, Building Tomorrow’s first official fundraiser took place at his rival school – the University of Virginia. In the spring of 2007, the nine students that made up the schoolâ€™s Building Tomorrow chapter decided to take on a challenge. With the help of local businesses, friends, and volunteers, they hosted the very first Bike to Uganda.
Bike to Uganda is a stationary bike-a-thon that continues to be Building Tomorrowâ€™s most popular and successful college event. Participants set out to prove that distance does not separate us from our community partners in Uganda by cumulatively biking the distance between their school and the capital city of Kampala. For the University of Virginia, this equated to 7,354 miles.
This first event, after which most are modeled, lasted from Monday to Friday. Starting at 8 in the morning, bikers could find the Building Tomorrow team on The University of Virginiaâ€™s famous Lawn. Over 1,000 people participated – with some pre-registered and others joining as word about the event spread. A capella groups, dance teams, and other entertainers filled the area with festivities and inspiration until 8 at night. At the end of the week, when the bikes and tents were disassembled, the chapter had raised well over $7,000 and formally cemented its presence on-grounds. 100% of what was raised went directly towards the construction of the Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita. Since then, other universities have followed suit, planning and executing their own Bike to Ugandas to support the construction of even more schools.
As we thank all of our Building Tomorrow supporters and chapter-members this summer, it is important to take a look back at where it all began. That group of dedicated students made a powerful impression on their campus and started a trend across the nation. To date, the University of Virginia has raised over $50,000 through Bike to Uganda alone. Across the US, more than 6,000 people have biked and raised over $100,000 across the US.