After pedaling for approximately 480 miles, Team Peacock members are reflecting on another rewarding journey as part of the recently completed Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). While the majority of muscle aches have subsided and blisters and sunburns have healed, the newfound friendships and memories continue to endure.
“Once again, the Peacock spirit transcended across the entire RAGBRAI route. From our enthusiastic team riders and support crew members to our gracious nightly hosts and the countless other alumni we met along the way, it was truly a memorable week for UIU and its extended family,” said Upper Iowa President William R. Duffy, who completed his seventh RAGBRAI as a member of Team Peacock.
“I believe everyone associated with Team Peacock will agree that not only is the University’s annual participation in RAGBRAI a rewarding experience, but the support we receive each year in raising funds for our students and various programs and activities is simply overwhelming,” he added. “From the communities we travel through to the people we meet from around the world, this event creates a tremendous amount of awareness about our University. A special shout-out this year to Deans Gail Moorman Behrens and Scott Figdore, who rode in support of their respective Schools (Andres School of Education and School of Science and Mathematics Churbuck Dean’s Fund).”
Since 2005, Team Peacock has raised more than $1.4 million during the fundraising effort. This year’s team and support crew members continue to sponsor fundraising efforts for the following UIU projects and/or programs: UIU Annual Fund, School of Science and Mathematics Churbuck Dean’s Fund, Andres School of Education, Office of Student Development Cabby Dean’s Fund, School of Business Dean’s Fund, School of Liberal Arts Dean’s Fund, UIU in 3D (creating a sculpture and ceramics studio), Military Family Fund, Military and Veterans Service Center, Raising the Bar (strength and conditioning facility renovations), UIU Wrestling, UIU Women’s Basketball, UIU Baseball, Environmental Leadership Scholarship.
Second-year Team Peacock member Dennis “Chas” Daker ‘72 echoed the sentiments of President Duffy saying, “I look forward to participating in RAGBRAI with Team Peacock for two reasons. First, the fundraising effort provides me an opportunity to give back to the University and its wrestling program from which I owe so much. Second, it’s just a lot of fun. It provides an opportunity for me to get together with old friends and make new ones along the way.”
A Calmar, Iowa, native, Daker was a four-time Upper Iowa Conference wrestling champion at South Winn High School. He later wrestled under Upper Iowa University coaches Mike Olson and Jim Killbreath. Before graduating from UIU with a double major in physical education and biology, he qualified for four national tournaments and was a two-time All-American.
Now living in Boulder, Colo., Daker explained he first became aware of Team Peacock when he happened to run into President Duffy during the 2013 RAGBRAI.
“Joining Team Peacock the next year and selecting to fundraise for the UIU wrestling program was a no brainer. I had some great coaches and teammates at the time and it continues to be a great university. To provide further support, my goal is to get the word out sooner during my fundraising effort next year,” he added.
Additional information on each of the 2015 Team Peacock participants, funding projects and programs, and support forms can still be found at givetouiu.org/teampeacock.
Team Peacock photos are also available for viewing on Facebook or at www.flickr.com/photos/upperiowauniversity.