By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Forty-four people pledged time, money and their leg muscles to raise money for the Baker Valley Education Foundation at Saturday’s “Pedal for a Purpose” spin-a-thon.

Starting at 8 a.m., the cycling room at the Baker YMCA Fitness Center was a blur of motion for six straight hours as local residents participated in the fundraiser. Fourteen bicycles were available each hour. Other than two sessions, all hours had eight or more riders.

“The first hour and final hour were full,” said Kim Mosier, a member of the Foundation’s board of directors.

The spin-a-thon raised $3,745. Each rider reserved a bike for $25, then pledged to raise at least another $25.

Mosier said some people who came to the Y for their workout visited the Foundation table and added cash to the donation jar.

“It was really fun to do the spin-a-thon. People were really positive,” Mosier said. “We’re grateful to the Y for partnering with the Foundation and donating the venue.”

The Foundation was established as a local nonprofit to “support innovative teaching and hands-on learning in the public schools of the Baker 5J School District.”

The Foundation’s first fundraiser was a sale of student artwork during the First Friday art walk in May 2017.

Money from the first round of grants was awarded in October 2017. The Foundation received $13,700 worth of requests from educators, and was able to fund $4,759.

Mosier said BVEF wrote additional grant requests and received $2,500 from the Leo Adler Community Foundation and $500 from Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative to fulfill project costs.

The funded projects were:

• STEM carts for first-graders at Brooklyn Primary ($428)

• Kindergarten science kits, Brooklyn Primary ($282)

• Student scholarships for the Baker High School choral trip to New York City ($800)

• Mount St. Helens volcano camp for sixth-graders at South Baker Intermediate ($1,700)

• LEGO robotics kits for fifth-graders at South Baker Intermediate ($1,400)

• STEM fairy tales kit for kindergartners at Brooklyn Primary ($149)

Mosier said the Foundation will again have student art for sale during First Friday on May 4.

“We made a goal as a board to raise $15,000 this year. That’s quite a jump from last year,” Mosier said. “If we’re able to do that, we’ll be able to fund more projects.”