A Red Deer tandem cycling couple logged 6,000 km to raise money for a school in Cambodia and promote literacy.
JB Owen, 51, and husband Peter Giesin, 52, left Red Deer on June 26 on a journey that took them to the Top of the World Highway in Yukon, to the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast and then back through B.C. to Red Deer, where they recently arrived.
Their epic ride saw them overcome heat waves, wildfires and the pandemic.
The couple are co-founders of Alberta-based IGNITE publishing house, which focuses on empowerment publishing. The team used its ride to raise money for IGNITE’S Possibilities of Hope Initiative, which aims to raise $35,000 to pay for the 35,000 bricks needed to build the school. So far, they have raised about $4,400 and a portion of every book their company sells goes towards the initiative, which includes a local partner in Cambodia.
“We want to promote literacy, reading, and storytelling. We want to show people that anything and everything is possible,” said Owen.
Classroom of Hope founder and CEO Duncan Ward said “the hope that these cyclists are bringing to children in rural Cambodia is going to manifest into a safe and secure learning environment and access to education.”
Last year, the couple cycled 5,000 km across Canada to raise money for the Sunshine foundation, a charity that helps fulfill the dreams of children with severe disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.
For more information go to fundraise.classroomofhope.org.