Bike race benefits St. Paul’s Newman Center
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 15:04
Over 200 individuals took part in the 33.7-mile bike race on Saturday to not only benefit St. Paul’s Newman Center but also to foster competition between UND and NDSU.
“It’s the competition. It’s the 40 miles of bike riding, and it’s a challenge for [participants],” Tonia Splonskowski, a staff associate at the Newman Center, said. “It’s the spiritedness against the schools, against UND.”
The bike race began near the T-lot and ran along Highway 81 toward Hillsboro. St. Paul’s Newman Center acts as major fundraiser for the center for leadership programs. NDSU raised $78,475 to help pay for the cost of maintaining the campus ministry program and was just shy of the $85,000 goal.
“It seemed like something fun and a good way to raise money for the Newman Center,” Nikki Frank, a sophomore and first-time participant in the event, said. “It’s something fun, and it’s a good way to people involved. There are so many things people can do.”
One driving force to get students involved in fundraising was the $1,000 Raliegh sport bike, sponsored by the Great Northern Bicycle Co. The bike was awarded to the participant who raised the most amount of money, which usually averages around $5,000 in funds to go toward the Newman Center. Other prizes awarded included a 40” TV, speedometer and digital camera.
Although UND took the win at this year’s 27th annual bike race, the fundraiser aims to serve a greater purpose. The Newman center provides support to many students on campus.
“Well, we call it the center for the revitalization of the divine and dwelling, and it’s very much that,” Splonskowski said.
The center places an emphasis on students maintaining excellence in academics, sobriety and chastity.
“If you treat the human body with great dignity, it’s going to show through every aspect of your life,” Splonskowski said. “That’s what we do mainly here, and it’s a buildup of a community. In the secular world today, they are getting bombarded with all kinds of stuff that pulls them away from the mindset of being created for more. They’re made for more; life doesn’t just stop in college.”
Additionally, Splonskowski says the center helps students connect with peers through discipleship and bible studies. The Newman Center creates a sense of community among members, which is often lost through day-to-day activities and technology.
“You see today that everybody walks on campus with their ear buds in and their phones in front of their face,” Splonskowski said. “The loss of community is huge across campus. People don’t want to stop and talk face-to-face. Here, we try to establish that in the community and try to establish the importance in having those relationships, especially a relationship with God.”