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____ Summer Week 2: July 9 - July 15, 2015 ____

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Fund Raising

Bike to GROW tops $100K entering Ontario

Past MEDA interns cycling across Canada for Ghanaian women

WATERLOO – As they biked across the Manitoba border into Northern Ontario, Mary Fehr and Sarah French had extra power pushing their pedals. Past MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – interns Fehr and French are on a four-month bike ride across Canada, called Bike to GROW, to raise $150,000 for MEDA’s GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women) project in Ghana.

In a matter of days, the Bike to GROW duo surpassed $75,000 – the halfway point to their $150,000 goal – and then $100,000, a special surprise in time for Canada Day.

“Reaching these milestones in our home province was amazing. We’re thankful to many giving Canadians and Americans who have supported us thus far,” says Fehr. “It provides the motivation we need to bike up those long hills, continue in the rain and start the day when we’re already tired.”

“Complete strangers have opened their homes, hearts and wallets to provide a place to sleep, a complimentary meal or a friendly face in unfamiliar places,” says French. “We’ve met so many people who are inspired by our efforts and MEDA’s work. Mary and I in turn are equally touched by their generosity and kindness.”

The young women look forward to reaching their hometowns in the coming weeks: Sarah is from Picton, ON, and Mary from Leamington, ON. “Our friends and families have been a great support system while we’re on the road,” says French. Fehr adds, “But we’re eager to celebrate with them in person at the finish line.”

Bike to GROW began May 18 in Victoria, BC, and will conclude Sept. 1 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. On the way, Sarah and Mary are stopping at MEDA chapters, churches and community centres to speak with locals about MEDA, the GROW project and their experience.

Funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), MEDA's GROW project focuses on improving the incomes and food security of 20,000 women soybean farmers and their families in Northern Ghana over six years.

To learn more, follow their experiences, or donate to the Bike To GROW campaign, visit www.biketogrow.com.

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