Pedaling for a Purpose: My Tour de Fuzz Journey to Empower East African Communities

by Peter Verbiscar-Brown, Board Member and Executive Director Emeritus

Friends, supporters, 

My Tour de Fuzz 100 mile bicycle ride/fundraiser was a total success, with thanks to you!  As of today, the total amount donated to Global Partners for Development in this campaign has reached  $14,600 and with more pledges still coming in, we will meet our fundraising goal of $15,000.    

The day before my ride, I was on a video conference with fellow Board members and our Global Partners on-the ground staff and community leaders from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.  It was totally inspiring, to hear our partners’ progress building primary school classrooms, providing clean water and sanitation, supporting girls’ education, and empowering the economic development of women’s groups.  I assure you that your donation will make a tangible, direct difference in East African people’s lives.

 More children will attend school. The debilitating incidence of water-borne diseases will plummet.  Whole villages will have improved health, increased productivity in the fields, at work, and raising families.  Girls will extend their years of schooling, leading to delayed marriage and child bearing, more choices in life, and a more powerful voice in their community. 

 As for my ride, it was a great day on the bicycle.   

I was on the road at first light, 6:15 am, and while I hoped to finish under 9 hours, I completed the ride in 7 hrs, 45 minutes.  I owe the weather gods a big thank you, the day started and remained cool, ideal bicycling conditions, with a shower or two. As for the King of the Mountain (KOM) Challenge, a climbing competition within the event, I was beaten in my 70-79 age group by a 70-year old youngster.  It’s ok since I was, on my actual 76th birthday, the oldest competitor in the KOM.

 It was an exquisite day to be on the mountain, Rockpile Road.  With a few thousand feet of climbing, the views into the deep valleys of northwest Sonoma County were captivating.  Wisps of fog and clouds streamed below, encouraging words from fellow riders breaking the silence, one friend going downhill at 30 mph while I labored up at 4 mph, shouted out, Happy Birthday!  

I am fortunate beyond description, first for your donation to my favorite organization doing very good work in our world.  Meaningful comes to mind.  Then to be able to ride strong just 5 months after my crash, I have the gift of a body that can heal.  

Thank you for your support of folks in need half a world away.  With the enormous environmental, social justice, political, and humanitarian challenges of our time, people everywhere can use a boost, to lift themselves and their families.  I appreciate your support of me personally.  My annual fundraising doubles as a way to keep in touch with you.  Will I contact you in 2024 for my 46th annual fundraising pitch?  Watch this space!

Gratefully, Peter


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