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G-C grad is partway through a cross-country bike trip for charity

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G-C grad is partway by means of a cross-country bike journey for charity

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield-Central graduate is biking throughout the US to lift cash for public schooling.

Chris Willis, 50, who now lives in Perrysburg, Ohio, just lately stopped on the town for a funeral however rapidly resumed his cross-country mission for charity.

He’s half approach by means of his journey biking from Washington to Maine, with a objective of elevating $51,000. He plans to offer $1,000 to 51 completely different college districts he visits alongside the best way.

Willis began out from Anacortes, Washington, on June 7, and hopes to finish the journey on Aug. 2, when he rolls into Bar Harbor, Maine.

The avid bike owner has named his fundraiser Pedal for Public Colleges, elevating cash as a technique to say thanks for all the general public colleges do.

“I’m elevating the funds by means of donations of all sizes from people who need to say thanks to public colleges in all places,” mentioned Willis, who comes from a protracted line of public educators.

“As a household we’ve over 250 years of expertise working in public colleges. I’ve spent my whole academic {and professional} life in public colleges,” he mentioned final week, throughout his temporary cease on the town.

His mom, Jean Willis, and sister, Deby Low, each dwell in Greenfield.

Low mentioned it’s no shock her little brother has taken off on an bold cross-country journey.

“I believe it’s one thing he’s at all times wished to do, and he figured he’d higher do it sooner fairly than later,” mentioned Low, who serves as president of the Greenfield Parks Board. “Chris likes to set objectives and go after them, and he clearly set this objective and he’s doing it,” she mentioned.

Low mentioned it’s been an awesome alternative for her brother to share the journey together with his youngest son, George, who’s driving the journey together with his dad, touring forward to arrange camp every night time.

“This 19-year-old child selected to spend his summer time trip doing this together with his dad, and I believe that’s nice,” she mentioned.

Whereas the journey has been mentally and bodily grueling, Willis mentioned the adventures he and his son have had alongside the best way have made all of it worthwhile.

One of the best spotlight to this point has been the night time they camped in Theodore Roosevelt Nationwide Park, the place two bison wandered by means of their campsite. Willis additionally cherished his trip up Going-to-the-Solar Street in Glacier Nationwide Park.

Seeing the nation by bicycle has been a richly rewarding expertise for the native Hoosier.

“I’ve actually loved getting to observe how the panorama modifications as we cross the nation,” he mentioned.

“It has additionally been very rewarding to fulfill individuals alongside the best way — different cyclists making the journey, or individuals within the diners I’ve lunch in, or people within the campgrounds every night time.”

Willis began biking when he was a youngster and rode all through faculty, however he stopped for about 20 years whereas beginning a household and his profession.

He received again into the game about 5 years in the past, with the cross-country journey being his objective.

Willis is averaging 80 to 90 miles a day on the journey, or 5 to eight hours every day. The whole journey will cowl about 3,500 complete miles, a giant leap from the two,000 miles he usually logs annually.

Ultimately, the cash raised for public colleges will probably be properly value it, mentioned Willis, who attended Greenfield-Central colleges. He graduated in 1989.

He then went on to earn a bachelor’s diploma and grasp’s diploma from Ball State College, and a doctorate from Indiana College.

He labored as a instructor and principal in Indiana public colleges for various years earlier than changing into a professor at Mississippi State College.

Willis now works at Bowling Inexperienced State College in Bowling Inexperienced, Ohio, the place he’s an affiliate professor within the Faculty of Instructional Foundations, Management, and Coverage.

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