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AthSav2014 Bike Ride Nets $6,000 for Foundation for Excellence in Public Education

The 13th Annual Athens to Savannah Double Century Bike Ride was the largest ride to date.

AthSav organizer Dr. Ken Sherman presents check to representatives from the Foundation for Excellence:  left to right--CJ Amason (executive director), Dr. Sherman, David Meyers (AthSav committee chair), Julie Bower (FFE president).
AthSav organizer Dr. Ken Sherman presents check to representatives from the Foundation for Excellence: left to right--CJ Amason (executive director), Dr. Sherman, David Meyers (AthSav committee chair), Julie Bower (FFE president).
Submitted by CJ Amason

This year's 13th Annual Athens to Savannah Double Century Bike Ride - AthSav2014 - was the largest ride to date, with nearly 90 riders participating, and with net proceeds of more than $6000 donated to the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County.

The first AthSav ride took place in April of 1999, when then-Clarke Middle School Principal Ken Sherman and teacher Wallace Salter took off for the 2-day, 210-mile journey.  This began as somewhat of a lark and a challenge to get into shape, and belatedly was done as a fundraiser for CMS.  Still, around $2000 was raised for the school, and the CMS-Savannah Ride was born.

In 2003, several CMS staff members urged Dr. Sherman to do the ride again, and this time five riders completed the trip and raised around $7000 for the school.
They realized they were onto something, and the ride became an annual event growing steadily each year.

The ride became the focal point of Clarke Middle's fundraising efforts, and over the next decade, CMS-Savannah rides and related efforts and donations brought in more than $150,000 to the school.

Dr. Sherman organized one more ride for CMS after he retired as principal in 2009, and then decided to widen the focus his fundraising efforts to the entire Clarke County School District by contributing proceeds from the rides to the Foundation for Excellence where he was also serving serving at that time on the Board of Trustees.

Thus, CMS-Savannah became Athens-Savannah, and with the ride continuing to grow in popularity, it has now contributed an additional $20,000 to the FFE over the past three years.  Dr. Sherman notes that, in addition to generating $170,000 for public education since 1999, the "AthSav rides have also been a great vehicle - pun intended - to raise the public's awareness about the important work of the Foundation."

The Foundation is not just a recipient of donations from the ride; it is also an active participant, providing volunteers to support pre-AthSav training rides and events and to serve as part of the large caravan of people and vehicles that direct, support, and feed the riders all the way down to Savannah each spring.
  
Dr. Sherman continues not only to organize the AthSav rides but to participate every year.  He cycles around 7,000 miles each year to stay ready for the big ride to Savannah each spring, and this past year's ride was his strongest and fastest to date - at the age of 62, he averaged more than 20 mph for the 210-mile journey.  And he's ready to do it again next year.

Plans are already being made for AthSav2015, scheduled for May 1-2, 2015. (The rides always take place on a Friday and Saturday, with Sunday being used to transport cyclists and bikes by car back to Athens).

Once again, net proceeds from the event will support the Foundation for Excellence. Registration information and details will be made available at the beginning of November.

If you are interested in finding out more about the AthSav ride, or if you would like to participate as a rider, volunteer, or donor, please contact Ken Sherman at shermankathens@gmail.com.

You can also follow AthSav rides and other training rides and related events on the Bike List Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kensbikelist.  Find out more about the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education by going to www.athensffe.org

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