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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Update: Tireless one-tire wonder

Consider classics such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or the movie Thelma and Louise. Cross-country road trips are the stuff of legends.

Pastor Lars Clausen's variation on the American road trip consists of a unicycle and a goal to raise $5 million for the Seward Peninsula Endowment Fund for Native Alaskan Lutherans (see February 2002, page 8).

"Native life has been moved to the fringes," Clausen said in July while in Chicago. "Anything we can do to preserve it will improve the whole world."

Clausen became something of a legend as he pedaled cross-country. He set out on his 36-inch unicycle April 29 from Neah Bay, Wash., the contiguous United States' most western point. As he traveled, Clausen piqued national interest: he was featured on the CNN news ticker and as an answer on National Public Radio's news quiz Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me.

Cruising through Ohio, Clausen passed the Guinness World Record for long-distance unicycling: 3,876 miles.

On Aug. 10, Clausen arrived in New York City after 5,032 miles. When he reached the Statue of Liberty, he'd turned the pedals 2.8 million times and the endowment's value was $250,000. Clausen plans to pedal back. "I'm very hopeful it will provide more exposure for the endowment fund," he said.

To help, send checks to the ELCA Foundation, 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631-4179 (designate "Seward Peninsula Endowment Fund" in the memo line). Contact the Foundation at (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2970, or visit www.elca.org/fo for questions about gifts of appreciated securities or life income agreements.


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