Sunday, March 1, 2009

Press Release: April 2009


Bethesda Motorcyclist to Tour Southern Africa for Charities

Bethesda, Maryland- April, 2009 – A Bethesda resident is one of six Americans participating in Enduro Africa, a fundraiser and motorcycle trek through Southern Africa in October that benefits four charities providing HIV prevention, education, and support in the region.

Andrew Forsyth, 43, registered in December for the fundraiser and 2000-km off-road ride organized by UK-based Global Enduro, a social enterprise that seeks to profit from helping others. The 8-day trip begins on October 2nd in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, ancestral home of Nelson Mandela. In signing up, he has committed to raising a minimum of $7,500 in donations.

“This is the first time I’ll have done anything like this,” said Forsyth, “and I’m floored by the tremendous response, words of encouragement, and generous donations from my family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to these incredible charities -- even in the midst of this dismal economic climate.”

An avid motorcyclist for 4 years, Forsyth’s riding experience has been limited to area highways, expressways, and backroads. Except for his years as a mountain biker, he has never ridden off-road. “I know the principles and techniques of riding on two wheels in the dirt, gravel, and muck,” he says, “but there’s a big difference between keeping 25 and 300 pounds of bike under control.” He expects to complete offroad rider training in the coming months.

Forsyth, who is an NIMH program officer in its AIDS Center, works with scientists in the U.S. and beyond to develop, test, and disseminate innovative strategies to stem new HIV infections worldwide.

Recently, he completed a 2-day fund drive that raised an additional $1000 for the charities, bringing him just over the halfway point for the minimum required for participation. “Based on pledges and expressions of interest, I’m expecting record donations. I hope to crush my $10,000 fundraising goal.” Donations will benefit UNICEF, Sentebale, TouchAfrica, and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

He publishes 2 – 3 updates per week on his blog on HIV prevention and his progress raising funds, planning, and training for the adventure.

Andrew Forsyth, Ph.D. (, 4617 North Chelsea Lane, Bethesda MD 20814.


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