When it comes to fundraising on wheels, less can be more, according to Jasper Hoogendam. Seeking sponsors for his part in this year’s Sea to Sea trek across North America, the 59-year-old member of Grace Christian Reformed Church in Cobourg, Ontario, tells supporters that he will ride a unicycle for at least 10 percent of his travels.
Jasper Hoogendam will ride part of the Sea to Sea tour on a unicycle.
Hoogendam will be riding in weeks seven and eight of the tour, beginning in Grand Rapids, Mich., and finishing in Montreal, Quebec. Along with his fundraising goal of $5,000, he made a pledge to highlight the link between handicaps and poverty. He describes his unicycle as a bicycle with a one-wheel handicap.
In the eight years since he learned to ride a unicycle, Hoogendam has used his unusual talent in many fundraising events. For seven consecutive years he has completed the Terry Fox run (a Canadian cancer-fighting fundraiser) by unicycle, riding up to 30 kilometers each time. On another occasion he won a fundraising challenge by riding his unicycle back and forth across a school gymnasium floor while carrying a tray of 50 half-full wine glasses.
Commenting on his preparations for his long ride this summer, Hoogendam said, “As I put on kilometers to get ready for Sea to Sea, if nothing else I bring many a smile as I ride by.”
The nine week-long ride starts on June 24 in Los Angeles and ends in New York City on August 24. Riders of the full tour are expected to raise $10,000 each in addition to their own expenses. The overall fundraising goal of $1.5 million will be directed to several Christian agencies that fight poverty.