1971 AACS Family Conference
Cathy Hoogendam, 19, Pete Van Geest, 17, and Walter Vande Kloet, 18, rode their bicycles 145 miles in a bike-a-thon for the AACS on Friday, July 30. Walter VandeK1oet, a grade 13 student at Beamsville High School in Lincoln, Ontario had the idea to ride to the Ontario AACS Conference. So he asked Cathy Hoogendam, from St. Catharines, Ontario, a sophomore at Trinity Christian College, in Palos Heights , Illinois, and Peter Van Geest, a Beacon Christian High School grade 12 student, both of whom live near him in the St. Catharines area, to accompany him.
This led Cathy to remember what she had read in the last PERSPECTIVE Newsletter — there was little or no money to support the writing of integral Christian curriculum materials that was being co-sponsored by the AACS and the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools. So she decided to organize a bike-a-thon, to which Peter Van Geest agreed. In a short time they were able to raise $7 per mile for 130 miles, totaling $910 from 112 sponsors from the greater St. Catharines area and other parts of Ontario .
Cathy says, “I was here for this conference one day last year. I wasn’t too familiar with the AACS then, but I started picking up the Newsletters that came to our home. Now I can see the need for a Christian university. If we go to secular universities and get secular ideas — then I don’t see how we’ll know what to do — how to work in God’s Kingdom. There’s a necessity for a perspective — so we know what reality really is — so we can do what we ought to. “
The ordeal of commitment to building up the Christian school system in Ontario and other places through this bike-a-thon began at 2 o’clock in the morning in St. Catharines, and ended 14 hours later at 4 o’clock at Belvoir Centre, in Delaware, Ontario. Hazards were dogs that protected every farmhouse along the way by chasing the bicyclers, and a near brush with death when two cars passed each other and almost pinned Cathy between them.