Vanguard University Hosts Cyclists at Start of Sea to Sea’s Nine-Week Bike Tour to Reduce Poverty

Partnership between Vanguard University and Sea to Sea marked by common desire to serve others by alleviating poverty

Costa Mesa, CA, June 17, 2013 – Vanguard University announced today that it is an official bike tour sponsor for Sea to Sea, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending poverty worldwide. Cyclists embarking on the bike tour across the United States will depart from Vanguard University after a brief stay on campus.

The 3,900 mile bike tour is sponsored by the Reformed Church in AmericaPartners Worldwide, and World Renew – an agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The most recent bike tour, held in 2008, sent over $1.5 million to local, national and international agencies fighting poverty. The fundraising goal for this year’s bike tour is $2 million.

“After the amazing experience of the 2005 Sea to Sea bike tour, I felt called to promote awareness of the needs of the poor, says Claire Elgersma, steering committee chairman and cyclist for Sea to Sea. “This year, 35% of the proceeds will go to local programs that assist those in poverty. We hope that partners like Vanguard University, who are also dedicated to serving the poor, will continue to ride with us until poverty is eliminated.”

According to Sea to Sea, nine million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition. The Census Bureau, which defines poverty as those living with an annual income of less than $23,283 for a family of four, reports that 15% of the United States population were living in poverty in 2011. The World Bank, which calculates the threshold for dire poverty in developing countries as $1.25 per day of consumption (versus income), projects that the population share of extreme poor in developing countries will be halved by 2015, down from 29% in 1990 to 12% in 2015.

“We’re delighted to be able to sponsor an organization like Sea to Sea that is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world,” says Mike Beals, dean of spiritual formation at Vanguard University. “With our students seeing first-hand the impacts of global poverty in places like East Africa, South America, and the Middle East where they serve on missions trips each summer, we recognize the great need to support an initiative like this. We look forward to being able to partner with Sea to Sea now and in the future to help reduce poverty.”

After dipping their tires in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, June 23, the cyclists will officially start the bike tour to end poverty from Vanguard University on Monday, June 24 and end in New York City nine weeks later. The bike tour will make stops in Phoenix, Rehoboth, Colorado Springs, Iowa City, Grand Rapids, Ancaster, Toronto, and Montreal.

For more information about the Sea to Sea Bike Tour, click here.


Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. Ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 colleges in the west since 2010, Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs.

The Sea to Sea 2013 Bike Tour is a nine-week, 3,900-mile cycling trek from Southern California to New York City designed to raise awareness and funds in support of those living in poverty around the world. The tour is hosted by the Reformed Church in America, Partners Worldwide, and World Renew – an agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

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