Wheels For Wells Announces 2012 Ride Dates. July 8th – July 14th 2012

Nags Head, NC – Ocean City, NJ July 8th – July 14th 2012

  • Wrapping Up & Saying Thank You

    Written by Christopher Carr on Friday, July, 13th, 2012

    This week, a special group of people has had the chance to join together and do something extraordinary. Eight committed cyclists and their support staff made the trek all the way from the Outer Banks up to what will be their final destination tomorrow afternoon – Ocean City, NJ. What is more impressive, though, is that those cyclists were able to raise over $15,000 for clean water projects in Africa. Their heart for the cause and their passion for putting an end to the water crisis was the motivation that brought them to this point. Who in the world would choose to spend one of their precious vacation weeks riding a bike for nearly 400 miles in the middle of July heat? Allow us to introduce you to those who would..and did. Meet our incredible 2012 Wheels for Wells riders (as pictured, from left to right): Steve Fischer, Anh Vu, Benjamin Ruegsegger, Craig Anderson, Chris Carr, Clare Oestreicher, Katie Yori, Mark Oestreicher

    Stopped on the roadside for a quick photo op. during the route from Salisbury, MD to Harrington, DE.    Quite an impressive team!

    On behalf of the WfW cyclists, support staff and our parent organization, Compassion Corps, we would like to sincerely thank this year’s corporate and church partners. Your financial support and your generous donations of products and services were key reasons why this event was a success. We have you to thank for the great impact that can now be made in villages in northern Africa – an impact that will lead to a healthier life and a brighter future for thousands of people. Through the gift of water, we can provide hope and it is through your generous partnership with the Wheels for Wells 2012 Tour that this can even be a reality. WfW would like to extend the utmost gratitude to our partners:


    Eastern University
    Eastern University is a Christian university that enrolls about 4,400 students in its undergraduate, graduate, Seminary, international, urban and professional degree programs. All education at Eastern University is rooted in its core values of faith, reason and justice.

    Farotech Designs
    Farotech is a client focused marketing company that is based out of Philadelphia. Since 2001, they have developed a cutting edge marketing approach that has created tremendous acclaim. Their core focus is Web Development, SEO, branding and lead generation. Contact Us at: info@farotech.com

    Stampede Designs


    Nutrilite Sports Nutrition

    “I was introduced to Nutrilite products on the 2011 Wheels for Wells tour. The energy, hydration and recovery products were a great support during our daily rides. I have continued to use them and they have become an essential part of my cycling nutrition program.”- WfW Rider, Jacquelyn Hickey

    Monomer Polymer

    Narrow Road Church


    Media Presbyterian Church

    Storehouse Church


  • Day 3: Virginia Beach to Chincoteague

    Written by Christopher Carr on Wednesday, July, 11th, 2012

    The riders entered the beach town of Chincoteague this afternoon with tired bodies and happy hearts, having accomplished a full day of riding that totaled 75 miles on the bikes. Today’s destination, the beautiful coastal town of Chincoteague, VA, is famous for its wildlife – including wild ponies – and this location offered the Wheels for Wells team a relaxing and scenic spot for an evening of rest and rejuvenation. The team swam in the pool, played ladder ball and grilled out in the pavilion at the Blue Heron Inn. A few may have even found time later in the evening to sneak in a Dairy Queen run.

    Katie Yori leads the team

    Although the conditions were windy, the riders stayed together and encouraged each other through the today’s tough ride. To make the wind more manageable, the cyclists took turns leading the group at the front. At the end of the day, the consensus was that they all enjoyed the view from their bikes as they cruised along beautiful back country roads of Virginia.

    While we are so proud of our cyclists and all that they are accomplishing with the ride this week, we also know that our support staff plays a major role in allowing the team to get back on the road safely and efficiently each day. Alaina Anderson is a key team member and a valuable addition to this year’s Wheels for Wells staff. Her role is…well…she’s in charge!

    Alaina drives one of the support vehicles and manages the daily route

    Officially, she is the “Route Master,” but unofficially she is exactly the person you want when it comes to planning ahead, making important decisions and managing the overall course of action for each day’s activity. Alaina, THANK YOU for all you do!

    Brian and Katie Dennstaedt are returners from last year’s support team and once again they are in charge of food and hydration. In addition to playing tetras with the food and ice-packed coolers in their vehicle (Thank you Mannion family for lending WfW your van for the week!), they also plan and prepare for lunch, dinner and snacks for the team each day. One of their primary concerns in ensuring that the cyclists have the proper nutrition nec

    Brian & Katie preparing grilled chicken, fish and veggies

    essary to complete the challenging workouts set before them each day. The Dennstaedts worked with their business team (Thank you, John and Shirley Dennstaedt and Julia Oravecz!) to have Nutrilite sports nutrition products donated for the riders to use along the trip!

    For now, the riders are preparing for a night of rest in the quiet beach town of Chincoteague. Tomorrow another adventure awaits! Tune in then to hear all about the details of Day 4! And check out the rest of the Wheels for Wells website to learn more about the real reason we are on the road – the water crisis. Did you know that a child dies every 15 second on account of a water-related illness? Learn more and find a way to get involved. You may not be interested in riding a bike for 400 miles, but each bit of proactive effort towards the work of ending this crisis literally means the difference between life and death for so many who suffer from it’s consequences. Thank you for considering how you can help!


  • WfW Day 2: Elizabeth City, NC to Virginia Beach, VA

    Written by Christopher Carr on Tuesday, July, 10th, 2012

    Today we traveled into our second state in our route northward – the beautiful state of Virginia! As everyone knows, Virginia is for lovers

    Feel the Love!

    and we just happen to have the cutest couple with us on this trip. Meet the beauty, Isabella Henderson (standing proud at 2 feet, 5 inches, she rocks some wavy light brown locks and the most fun-loving, heart-warming smile you’ve ever seen) and the love of her life, her Dad, James S. Henderson IV, MBA (no description necessary…the name says it all).

    The WfW team is certainly thankful for the Henderson family! Jim is our Wheels for Wells Driver & Volunteer Coordinator and his wife Rita manages social media updates for the trip as well as ground support for the riders. Isa also has many roles and responsibilities during this week, including, but not limited to: being the official team mascot, the source of endless fun and the cause of many smiles!

    This 2012 tour is fully supported with the appropriate personnel to manage all of the riders’ needs. We are grateful for such a wonderful team that has come together to make this week possible. In addition to the Henderson family, we’d also like to introduce you to our medical staff: Rachel Carr and Nadji Gilliam. While they are not active in their duties as emergency responders, they are busy assessing the weather conditions, determining road safety and monitoring the riders’ hydration and overall health. They also serve a crucial role in assisting with navigation for the support vehicles as well as ground support for the cyclists.

    Beth, Nadji & Rachel shared some shelter under an umbrella during the heavy rain.

    With them in the photo (they are pictured here, taking advantage of the umbrella-covered picnic tables at our lunch stop during the rain storm we encountered today) is Beth McMillen, who serves both as a navigator and the treasurer for Wheels for Wells. Beth is the co-director of the non-profit, Compassion Corps, which is the backing organization for the Wheels for Wells event.

    TUNE IN LATER in the week to


    The day’s ride started out wonderfully as the riders completed a strong 20 miles in the early morning and caught the scenic ferry ride from Currituck to Pungo. Afterward, however, we did run into – or perhaps we should say “cycled into” – a bit of rain in the afternoon. After taking a longer break for lunch and to waiting for the storm to pass, the team was able to safely finish their ride into Virginia Beach for a successful completion of nearly 60 miles on Day 2! Congrats team!

    The team preparing to get on the ferry

    Thanks to John and Corrie Mannion, friends of the group who live in Va Beach, we were able to arrange to meet and eat dinner on campus at a local school, Regent University. This turned out to be a perfect spot and dinner was followed by an even more perfect treat: smooth, creamy frozen yogurt with an amazing variety of toppings from a favorite local joint: Skinny Dip in Kempsville! Our group would like to give a special shout out to the staff and managers at Skinny Dip. They were so kind in facilitating our group and were extremely generous in their donation.


    5 of our cyclists enjoying their frozen yogurt!


    Check in tomorrow for an update on Day 3: Virginia Beach to Chincoteague!

  • DAY 1: Nags Head, NC to Elizabeth City, NC

    Written by Christopher Carr on Tuesday, July, 10th, 2012

    DAY 1: Nags Head, NC to Elizabeth City, NC

    The temperature was high, but hot conditions were no match for the motivation of this group. Riding at an impressive pace and despite the intense humidity, the team made the 52 mile journey from Nags Head to Elizabeth City, NC in record time. After checking into the hotel this afternoon, the cyclists were able to use the pool to cool off and have some fun! This evening, the team ate under a pavilion on the waterfront and met to discuss the day’s ride and any potential improvements to make as the week progresses. The final consensus…Day 1: well done! Day 2: Here we come, Virginia Beach!

  • 2012 Wheels for Wells Mid-Atlantic Water Tour Commences in Nags Head, NC July 9th

    Written by Christopher Carr on Monday, July, 9th, 2012

    Nags Head, July 8, 2012 – Compassion Corps is proud to announce the official launch day of the 2012 Wheels for Wells campaign for clean water. This second annual event, a Mid-Atlantic bike tour, involves a committed group of 16 – both cyclists and their support staff, who will travel the nearly 400-mile scenic route through 5 states over the course of the next 6 days. The group is motivated by one unifying and compelling cause: clean water for Africa.

    “We all understand that this is a preventable tragedy that demands our attention,” explains Wheels for Wells support staff member, Katie Dennstaedt. “We’re thankful that we have the opportunity to help.” She adds, “Oh! And of course we’re also always grateful for any chance to come visit the beautiful Outer Banks!”

    The Wheels for Wells team is spending Sunday evening at the Quality Inn Carolina Ocean Front in Nags Head. During the 2011 tour, they found this hotel to be a scenic and comfortable spot – the perfect location for a relaxing night of rest before the long days of riding ahead.

    Kick Off Meeting @ Cozy Kitchens Showroom

    The team’s dinner and kick-off event was hosted by The Cozy Kitchens Group, a local Kitty Hawk based business that generously offered their beautiful showroom as a meeting place for the cyclists and support staff. The environment was certainly cozy and the location gave the WfW team the ability to get comfortable, enjoy an evening of food and fellowship and prepare for the upcoming week.

    The riders officially begin peddling at 7am Monday morning, July 9th. Their Day 1 ride will take them to Elizabeth City, NC – a 52 mile trip that will take hours to complete, will require thousands of calories to burn, and will symbolize the successful beginning of another impactful Wheels for Wells event. In its inaugural year, 2011, Wheels for Wells raised $20,000 for the purposes of supporting clean water initiatives, including the installation of an irrigation system, a well cap and a brand new well. Through rider sponsorship and corporate donations, Compassion Corps is generating another $20,000 through this year’s Wheels for Wells Mid-Atlantic Water Tour.


    According to Water.org, one child dies every fifteen seconds as a result of water-related issues (www.water.org). However, attainable and sustainable solutions do exist and the suffering of those affected can be minimized through creative efforts such as the Wheels for Wells water tour. If you or your company would like to learn more about this cause or support Wheels for Wells in the effort to end the water crisis, please contact our Director of Partnerships, Jim Henderson by emailing jim@wheelsforwells.org or by calling 610-506-7708.

  • May 5th: A Walk for Wells 5K

    Written by Christopher Carr on Friday, March, 30th, 2012

    Walk for Wells 5K

    Every mile matters because every drop counts!

    Philadelphia, Pa March 26, 2012- Compassion Corps, a local non-profit organization intent on alleviating suffering and advancing development in northern Africa (www.compassion-corps.com), is proud to announce a fundraising event, a Walk for Wells, to support the cause of clean water for Africa. The Walk for Wells will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at Bellevue State Park in Delaware.

    Come get some exercise and support a great cause!

    As a “sister event” to the Wheels for Wells Mid-Atlantic Water Cycling Tour (a division of Compassion Corps), this 5k Run/Walk is intended to help raise both awareness and funds that will be used to provide clean drinking water in poverty-stricken and war-ravaged areas of Africa.

    A child dies every 20 seconds from a water-related illness, and women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water for their families (water.org). Clean water is something that we take for granted, but the reality is that millions of people globally still do not have access to this basic necessity.

    “We expect that this event will not only raise funds that will help us install wells, but that it will also be a great way to raise awareness in our community about the global water crisis,” says Compassion Corps director, Jan Bean. In fact, there are even several participants who have committed to running or walking parts of the route carrying large containers of water on their heads to simulate the exhausting work that women all over the world endure each day as they travel many miles on foot to bring back water to their villages.

    Women walk for miles to bring water back to their families

    Compassion Corps encourages anyone who is local and interested in supporting this cause to register for the Walk for Wells event. The 5K will include chip timing, so participants can run competitively and receive prizes for placing or simply come to enjoy a casual walk in the park and support a great cause. Registration is now open and you can register two ways. Go online to www.runtheday.com. Click on “Find a Run” and locate the walk under the May 5th date in order to read more details about the event and register online. Or send an email to Beth McMillen at bmcmillen@compassion-corps.com and register through Compassion Corps.

    Sponsors are also needed to cover the cost of this event. If you or your company is interested in partnering with this mission, please contact Beth McMillen at bmcmillen@compassion-corps.com.Your participation in the Walk for Wells will make a lasting impact as we work together to end the water crisis. Every mile matters because every drop counts!

  • Featured Water Projects

    Written by Christopher Carr on Friday, March, 30th, 2012

    Project #1) 2011 Completed Project: New well cap and pump in Mali

    Details: The 2011 Mid-Atlantic Water Tour enabled Compassion Corps to install a much needed well cap and pump onto a well in the village of Elabdach, Mali, which is located in the Timbuktu region often referred to as the “Belt of Misery.” This well, installed years earlier by Compassion Corps, had been successfully providing an accessible water source and had already revolutionized the daily lives of the people of this village. However, without a proper pump and cap, the well’s water was in danger of becoming contaminated. For this reason, part of the money raised by the 2011 Wheels for Wells tour was immediately designated to addressing this issue. With the well now properly sealed, this water source can continue to be a wellspring of health and hope for the nomadic desert peoples of Elabdach. These new provisions will ensure that this vital water source stays free of contamination and provides safe, clean water for years to come.

    The well at Elabdach prior to receiving a cap and pump

    A woman using the completed well

    The work is being done to install the new features: a cap and pump

    Project #2) 2011-2012 Project In Process: Borehole well for School in Liberia

    Details: Liberia has endured two decades of civil war and is just beginning its steps toward recovery under the strong leadership of their president. It is the needs that have come about as rebuilding takes place that has caught the attention of Compassion Corps. Education is a major priority, but before kids can be taught, schools must be constructed, teachers must be trained and resources must be provided. One school in Nimba County – one of the hardest hit areas during the war – is eager to do its part, but it lacks access to clean water for its facility. Compassion Corps has partnered with school and plans are in the works to use a portion of the funds generated by the 2011 WfW tour to install a new borehole well on this school’s property, ensuring that it can flourish as a effective place of education and growth for Liberia’s young people.

    This new well will not only benefit the school’s 300+ students, but will be situated in a prime location to also serve as a community well that can benefit the many villagers who currently do not have access to clean water without walking for miles. During the war in Liberia, it was not uncommon for rebels to come through a village and destroy water systems or purposefully contaminate wells. The image below was taken in Nimba and shows the broken water system that currently exists there. It is a daily reminder of war and a daily threat to the health of the community. With the new borehole well that Compassion Corps is installing, Nimba County can take a major step forward out of the wreckage of war and onto a path toward a safer, healthier future.

    An example of a destroyed water system, broken by rebels during the war

    An example of a borehole well like the one that will be installed at the school

    A man washing in the open canal system

    Project #3) 2011-2012 Project In Process: Water piping system in Morocco

    Details: In the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, a rural community will be receiving piping that will allow clean spring water from above to reach their village homes below without contamination. Currently, the water travels several miles from the spring to the village via an open canal system. People bathe in the water, animals drink from it, debris is collected in the canal and the water source is highly contaminated by the time a family collects it at the bottom of the mountain for drinking. A simple, enclosed piping system that transports the clean water safely down the mountain is all that is needed in this area to prevent countless deaths each year. With basic health education and the provision of safe water, the people of this town can avoid the fatal water-related illnesses that have plagued this area for years. The first image shows the open water way where the water collects contaminants along its route. The second image shows a Moroccan child collecting dirty water at the bottom of the mountain. The final image shows the kind of piping system that is being planned for installation in this area during the summer of 2012

    A boy collects dirty water at the bottom of the mountain

    Example of the type of new piping that will be installed


    Expectations for 2012-2013

    The goal of the 2012 ride will be to raise enough funds to complete several new water projects. Compassion Corps has plans to place 2 hand dug wells- complete with pump and cap- in two additional villages outside of Timbuktu, Mali. Each of these new wells will serve over 1,000 people. In Liberia, work will be done with various partners of Compassion Corps to restore their broken, contaminated water systems that were destroyed during the war. Lastly, an orphanage outside of Jinja, Uganda, will receive a borehole well to provide them with needed water for drinking, cooking, and washing. This well will not only serve the orphanage, but the entire surrounding community also.

  • Announcing the 2012 Ride

    Written by Christopher Carr on Friday, March, 30th, 2012

    2012 Wheels for Wells Mid-Atlantic Water Tour Scheduled for July 8th-14th

    Philadelphia, PA, March 30, 2012 – Compassion Corps is proud to announce the launch of the 2012 Wheels for Wells campaign for clean water. This second annual event, a Mid-Atlantic bike tour, will involve 20 riders and 8 support staff and will cover a nearly 400-mile scenic route through 5 states over the course of 6 days. The tour is scheduled to begin in Nag’s Head, NC on July 8th and conclude in Ocean City, NJ on the 14th. The most impressive aspect of this unique event, though, is its commitment to making a difference for the people of Northern Africa, a region devastated by an appalling lack of access to clean drinking water. In 2011, Wheels for Wells raised $20,000 for the purposes of supporting clean water initiatives, including the installation of an irrigation system, a well cap and a brand new well. Through rider sponsorship and corporate donations, Compassion Corps expects to be able to generate double the funds through this year’s Wheels for Wells Mid-Atlantic Water Tour.

    Wheels for Wells cyclists in action!

    Rider registration officially opened online via www.Wheels for Wells.org on Monday, March 12th. Because the 2012 tour will be capped at 20 riders, it is recommended that interested individuals should visit the website as early as possible to secure their place in the event. This fully supported ride is made possible by a dedicated team of staff members, who spend months prior to the event focusing on all of the details and logistics so that the riders can have the best possible experience while on the road.

    “This truly was a unique experience,” explains 2011 Wheels for Wells rider, Clare Oestreicher. “It was an athletic feat, a charity event and an adventure all rolled into one week! The Wheels for Wells ride exceeded my expectations. I am extremely proud of all we were able to accomplish.”


    An Invitation for Corporate Partnerships

    Children drink from a clean water source in Elabdach, Mali.

    According to Water.org, one child dies every fifteen seconds as a result of water-related issues (www.water.org). But water-borne disease isn’t the only issue associated with this tragedy. The water crisis also presents serious social and economic implications that impact entire villages. However, attainable and sustainable solutions do exist and the suffering of those affected can be minimized through creative efforts such as the Wheels for Wells water tour.

    If you or your company would like to learn more about this cause or support Wheels for Wells in the effort to provide access to clean drinking water to tens of thousands in northern Africa, please contact our Director of Partnerships, Jim Henderson by emailing jim@wheelsforwells.org or by calling 610-506-7708.

  • The 2011 Ride in Review

    Written by Christopher Carr on Wednesday, February, 15th, 2012

    On August 1st of 2011, 10 riders and 7 volunteers began an adventure called Wheels for Wells.  The goal: bike 392 miles from Nags Head, North Carolina, to Ocean City, New Jersey, over the course of 6 days.  The purpose: raise $20,000 for clean water projects in Africa.  Chris Carr, a local graphic artist/web designer and Marketing Director for Compassion Corps, was the heart and soul of this project.  In 2009, Chris traveled to Timbuktu, Mali, with this agency and saw for himself the dire circumstances that thousands of people deal with everyday.  Women walk for 2 hours in one direction to find a well where they can draw water for their families to drink as well as to use to cook, wash, and water their animals. Chris came back from Africa a changed man and began a campaign that brought him to this culminating event on August 1, 2011.

    On the Road!


    It was no easy task to work out the logistics, gather a group willing to give up a week of their summer to ride, and garner the support of family and friends to undertake this project.  There were many days that the prospects looked dim and his hopes would falter, but with perseverance, some loyal friends, and a lot of heart, Wheels for Wells commenced and was a huge success.


    Eastern University was fully involved with Wheels for Wells, being one of the title sponsors for the ride. Three of the ten riders were Eastern graduates (Ben Ruegsegger, Clare Oestreicher, Austin Davco), Jim & Rita Henderson and Brian & Katie Dennstaedt, all Eastern grads, served as support staff before and during the event, and at least 7 other Eastern students, interns, and graduates all helped to make Wheels for Wells happen.


    This 5-state Atlantic Water Tour was developed as a major fundraising event of Compassion Corps           (www.compassion-corps), a local nonprofit organization which seeks to make a difference for those in need in some of Africa’s hardest places.  One of those places is Timbuktu, Mali, where a brave indigenous pastor works tirelessly to help the people of his region battle to survive in what is called the “Belt of Misery.” Pastor Nouh Ag Infa Yattara also completed his graduate work at Eastern and returned to Africa to help his people. Compassion Corps has partnered with Pastor Nouh on medical clinics and water projects.  They have provided well caps and pumps for 2 existing wells and resourced the building of a well in the village of Elabdach.  Some of the Wheels for Wells’ proceeds will be used to finish off the well cap and pump on that well, giving the people of Elabdach clean, pure water.


    Perhaps the words of one of the riders, Clare (Ruegsegger) Oestreicher, say it best:


    When the idea of riding my bike for 392 miles in one week was presented by my friend Chris I was excited but not completely sold. Sure , I like my bike….  its red and white and moves pretty fast thanks to my Husband’s bike skills…but six days in August … riding…. ohhhh… I kept thinking about the time away from life, the cost of fundraising, the fear of the unknown. I had this thought that someone else would surely step up to the plate. I waited and waited and soon realized that the opportunity was before me for a reason.  I didn’t know it at the time but the transforming process of believing in something and sticking your neck out on the line for a cause changes your character. I began learning about where the wells would be drilled, how many lives would be impacted and soon realized this was something that would change my life deeply. Over the course of 6 days I watched as Jan and Beth (Compassion Corps Directors) shared their passion for reaching the less fortunate in Africa. They gave of their time  and talent  to impact others- many of whom they may never meet. Their desire to make a difference was contagious!


    I watched as my friends and family came on board and became connected to a cause that just a few months  ago was not even on our radar. Whereas initially I was nervous to fundraise I slowly learned that people really cared and wanted to support something I believed in. Just as I had seen the acts of service through Jan and Beth my supporters saw in me the step of faith that was being taken.


    The riders preparing to set out for a day of cycling

    The event was well on its way and the joy of riding on back country roads made the time in the saddle well worth it. The volunteers were awesome! They greeted us at every rest stop with cold wash clothes and smiles from ear to ear. We were well fed and care for all along the way. I rode my bike through six states. Can you believe it??? Collectively, we raised close to $20,000.00. They made us feel like we were champions- when really they were the ones making it happen…We rode the bikes, and helped raise the funds but Compassion Corps is changing the World- one well at a time.


    Wheels for Wells 2012 is scheduled for July 8th -14th.  The dream is to double the number of riders in order to fund irrigation projects which will allow for food production in barren areas, which in turn will save and sustain many lives.  If you love to ride and want to help make a difference, please check out the Wheels for Wells website and inquire for more details.

Wheels For Wells is a division of Compassion Corps

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