In addition to working their summer jobs and spending time with family and friends, Butler pharmacy students Maria Jansen and Sarah Luigs will bike across the state of Iowa. Impressive? Very. Crazy? Perhaps.

Jansen and Luigs are participating in the seven-day RAGBRAI (The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Now in its 40th year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.

Unlike the 10,000-plus riders who participate in RAGBRAI solely for the camaraderie, Jansen and Luigs are riding for a cause — the Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy, an entirely student-run pharmacy located in a low-income neighborhood on Indianapolis’ near eastside.

“Funds are essential to keeping the pharmacy operational and to providing essential medications to the community members,” said Jansen. “We’re really happy to assist.”

As of early May, the two had raised more than $300.

“The money also serves as encouragement for both of us to finish the ride,” said Luigs.

The ride, which totals around 470 miles and covers more than 50 cities, begins July 22 in Sioux Center and ends in Clinton. Each night, the riders stop in a host city — some as small as 1,000 residents — where they are greeted with Iowa hospitality by hundreds of residents and vendors.

To donate to Jansen’s and Luigs’ effort, visit the Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy donation page.

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