Pair raises $7,000 with pro-life ride throughout Illinois

Their 600-mile weeklong bicycle trek across Illinois in late March pitted University of Illinois students Jimmy Becker and Mike Schafer against traffic and potholes, headwinds, bitter cold and steep hills.

For Becker and Schafer, however, those were just obstacles along the way. The real fight was to advance a culture of life and oppose the culture of death.

Called “Biking for Babies,” their state-crossing ride was a pro-life fundraiser for Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center in Champaign and Students for Life of Illinois.

Starting in Carbondale and ending in Chicago, the two bikers covered a total of 636 miles from Saturday, March 21, to Friday, March 27, averaging 85 miles per day. Through donations and pledges, they raised more than $7,000 of a $20,000 goal they had set for themselves.

Schafer, 20, a sophomore from Freeburg, and Becker, 21, a senior from Booneville, Iowa, introduced a little competition in their fundraising, with “Team Mike” edging out ‘Team Jimmy.”

“I’m definitely ahead, although Jimmy had a lot of help from his sister Katie Becker,” Schafer told The Catholic Post last Wednesday after the bicyclists had arrived for an overnight stop at St. Joseph Newman Center at Bradley University in Peoria.

Becker’s sister solicited donations from family and friends, as well as members of the Newman Center Koinonia community and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

“She ended up raising $2,700,” Becker told The Post. “She was very helpful in getting the word out.”

Throughout the trip, Schafer and Becker kept a daily log of their experiences on the Internet at www.biking forbabies.com. A YouTube video of the first three days of the trip that was prepared by Deddens has also been uploaded.

Donations as well as purchases of remaining “Biking for Babies” T-shirts can still be made through the Web site.

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