Pictured, from left: Rosemary Thomas, vice president of advancement at Salisbury University and executive director of the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc.; Barry King, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County; Amy Waters, Sea Gull Century coordinator; and Mike Boolukos, Sea Gull Century Committee member
Each year, Salisbury University’s popular Sea Gull Century bicycle ride brings thousands of cyclists from throughout the United States and beyond to the Lower Eastern Shore. Money raised from the annual event is given back to the community to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County, which recently received its 2006 Century donation.
In total, the Century has provided more than $100,000 for Habitat during the past 12 years. That amount becomes even more poignant considering the help the county organization receives from the SU chapter of Habitat.
“It’s a great synergy between Sea Gull Century giving and the students coming out and providing the labor,” said Barry King, executive director of Habitat of Wicomico County.
The Wicomico organization, which enlists volunteers to help construct houses for homeless families, just finished its 42nd local home. Funding for such projects has become even more crucial in recent years, as building costs have skyrocketed, King said. He estimated a house that may have cost Habitat $40,000 to build just five years ago now reaches about $70,000, almost entirely in materials.
Each year, Sea Gull Century proceeds benefit dozens of non-profit organizations in the local community. Others receiving contributions this year included the Ocean City Lioness Club, Powellville Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary, Helping Hands of Beaver Dam, the League of American Bicyclists and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Century also provided funding for SU campus enhancements and student organizations. Donations totaled some $75,000.
“We have a number of organizations helping out at the Century, and we couldn’t do it without cooperation from the whole area,” said Amy Waters, Century coordinator. “This is our way of giving back.”
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.