While on vacation last week, I received an email from Lori Wingo of the University of Maine Upward Bound program.
Lori, co-director of Classic Upward Bound and UB Math Science, asked me to update readers about information I provided in a March column about the third piece of a three-part fundraising effort to help provide services for UB students.
UB, for those who are unfamiliar with it, “is a federally funded program which assists qualified students to improve their skills in high school and to prepare to enter and succeed in college.
“UB provides academic support during the school year and an intense six-week residential summer experience at UM” in Orono, according to its website, http://umaine.edu/ub/.
But, Lori told me for that column, ensuring students have adequate funding to participate has become more difficult, due to the state of our economy.
Having been “level-funded with our federal budget for seven years,” she said, it’s been difficult to provide the quality of assistance UB wants to offer its students.
That assistance includes such things as helping with book purchases, which can cost as much as $500 per semester.
Because books are now so expensive, Lori told me, some UB students are forced to borrow books, which means they “can’t mark, highlight or make notes,” and some students who can’t purchase books, she said, try to get by on just their class notes.
So UB staffers, moving away from previous fundraisers such as art auctions, are working to attract a new group of donors to keep UB students well-supplied.
First, the staff hosted a St. Patrick’s Day pizza fundraiser in Old Town, and a yoga event a few days later in Bangor.
Their final fundraiser is a two-day motorcycle “Biking for Books Scholarship Ride” sponsored by Lori’s STAR Touring and Riding Chapter 483 of Bangor, a group that welcomes riders of any brand, Lori explained.
The tour begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland, and includes stops at all seven UMaine system campuses.
However, what’s most important for you to know, if you want to participate, is the registration deadline is Saturday, April 30.
Complete details can be obtained at the UB website, by calling the UB office at 581-2522, visiting www.star483.org and clicking on Biking for Books, or contacting Lori Wingo, STAR 483 Secretary, 3 Poplar St., Bangor 04401.
The registration fee is $30 per rider and $20 per passenger, and participants are asked to obtain pledges.
Riders raising $60 or more will be entered into a prize drawing, with the rider raising the most money receiving a set of motorcycle tires and installation courtesy of Friend and Friend, the local STAR sponsor.
Lori reminds riders contest rules stipulate you must have your photo taken in front of the sign for each university campus.
If you just happen to have never visited all seven Maine campuses, or a particular part of Vacationland where they are located, then this trip is for you.
The first day, you will pass through Augusta and Farmington, stopping at Pelletier Family Logging Restaurant in Millinocket before completing your day at the Northern Door Hotel in Fort Kent.
Riders depart Fort Kent at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 22, and head for Presque Isle; dine at Helen’s in Machias and will be met by a police escort and UB students at your final destination on the UM campus in Orono.
Riders can join the route at any point, Lori reports, but you still must register in advance.
Spectators and well-wishers are welcome anywhere along the route, and Lori recommends you meet them at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at USM in Portland, 9:30 a.m. at UMA, 10:30 a.m. at UMF or 6:30 p.m. at UMFK; then at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 22, at UMPI; 1:15 p.m. at UMM or 4:30 p.m. at UMaine in Orono.
And I’ll offer participants one bit of just-in-case advice: Pack something warm for the ride north.
I will never forget spending a May night in a UMFK dormitory, being awakened by a very early morning fire drill, and stepping out onto a snow-covered campus! Honestly! In May!
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; email@example.com; 990-8288.