Saturday, October 17, 2009
(Posted by CAAI News Media)
By BY RAY ESTRADA
An indoor cycling fundraiser, called “Spin for Cambodia,” is planned this weekend at an upper State Street business to help 12 area volunteers perform humanitarian work in that ravaged Asian nation.
The fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Spectrum uptown gym, 3908 State St., Santa Barbara. Cyclists will be asked to donate $20 per hour of participation for a at least one hour and up to six hours.
“We expect about 100 people and six instructors,” said Jennifer Marsh, event organizer and a Westmont biology professor. The South Coast resident said she decided to help with the fundraising effort after meeting the Cambodia trip organizer Tommy Marx.
The volunteers and their friends are raising funds for the December trip to Cambodia to help restore a community in that country, which has been torn apart by war and a genocidal regime. The group wants to help the people of Chamcar Bei recover from 30 years of armed conflict and the Pol Pot regime, as depicted in the Oscar-winning film “The Killing Fields.”
Bridges Across Borders and Developing World Connections, both international nonprofit organizations, are helping arrange the trip with Marx, a Santa Ynez Valley resident, who will lead the 14 volunteers – a dozen from Santa Barbara County and two from Europe. Marx served as a restoration team member in the same region of Cambodia last year.
Marx said he became involved in international relief efforts after the Asian tsunami in 2007. He went to Cambodia last year and decided to return with more help. A process design engineer at the South Coast-based tech company Flir, Marx said his company back his efforts.
Also on the trip are acupuncturist and massage therapist Jackie Sugich and healthcare writer Karen O’Hara are among the other volunteers headed to Cambodia. They both said they were impressed by Marx’s work and wanted to go on the round-the-world adventure.
The volunteers and friends put on a Sept. 30 reception and silent auction at Blush Restaurant and Lounge, and a similar event at a private home in Santa Ynez Oct. 10.
At Saturday’s spinathon, each one-hour session will be led by a professional cyclist and no previous spinning experience is necessary. Bikers can win prizes and will receive snacks provided by Spectrum and Edward & Sons. It is open to Spectrum members and everyone else. Walk-ins will be accepted on a space-available basis.
Sign-ups are being accepted at the Spectrum Uptown front desk, (805) 563-8700, or by contacting Marsh at (805) 245-0032 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monetary contributions are tax-deductible and checks should be made payable to Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia.
Donations may be made to the team or on behalf of specific volunteers.