Last year a lifelong Cubs fan was the top fundraiser at the Wrigley Field Road Tour (WFRT), his first ever 100 mile bike ride. This year, he wants to be the top fundraiser again, and he plans to travel to Africa after the event to see where the World Bicycle Relief organization assembles the donated bikes.
So who is this philanthropic wiz, this cycler extraordinaire?
“I’ve been biking since I was two or three years old,” says Garrett Higney. “My mom read about the Wrigley Field Road Tour last year in a magazine and suggested to my dad and me, since we are such big Cubs fans, that we do the ride. So my dad and I started training.”
This is not a regular activity for a young man in his early teens. In fact, the soon-to-be freshman at Lyden Township High School said his friends were shocked he did the ride last year.
“Most of them didn’t know how to react when I told them,” describes Higney.
As the top fundraiser for the 2011 WFRT, Higney was presented with a Specialized Tarmac SL4 during a pre-ride ceremony, May 9th at Wrigley Field.
Higney takes his riding seriously. He’s had about ten different bikes since taking up the sport, and he trains religiously with his father Andrew. The father son duo begin their ten week training regimen next week with weekday short rides near their Western Springs home and with weekend long rides along the lakefront.
“I want to raise enough money to build 100 bikes to take to Africa,” Higney adds. To accomplish that, he’ll need to raise about $13,000.
“I’ve already started my fundraising efforts with a garage sale,” says Higney. “I raised about $3,000 and that went right to my fundraising for WFRT.”
Higney literally wears his love for the WFRT.
“Garrett really loves the Cubs,” describes Andrew Higney. “Last week he wore the Cubs jacket Todd Ricketts gave him to his 8th grade field trip to Great America.”
This year he hopes he can combine his love for the Cubs with being the top fundraiser again so he can be the focal point of an in-game ceremony in 2013.
When asked why Higney loves to do the WFRT, he responds “I have learned from doing my first century ride that I can do anything I want to do if I set my mind to it. I love doing this ride and I want to use this ride to help other people.”