Platinum selling, Dove Award winning recording artist, Mark Schultz, is embarking on an ACROSS AMERICA bike ride to raise support for orphans and widows. From May 6 through early July, Schultz will bicycle from California to New Hampshire stopping along the way to perform concerts featuring music from his acclaimed, best-selling album, Broken & Beautiful (Word Records).
Everybody’s peddling something, but Schultz says, “My wheels are turning to actually get somewhere.” And that destination is his cause, helping orphans and widows.
Schultz’s inspiration to make this 3,500-mile trek came from a visit he and his wife, Kate, made to orphanages in Mexico. In the spring of 2006, they went on a mission trip with The James Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Family Christian Stores, to meet the needs of orphans and widows in distress. Schultz’s own adoption drew him to explore this ministry. Seeing firsthand the harsh realities for many orphans and realizing that he could have easily been one of the boys in the orphanage, he wanted to make a difference.
“I went to visit some orphanages last spring and hang out with the kids, and I thought, how can I raise money for these kids?” says
Mark Schultz helps a young orphaned girl during lunch in Mexico.
Schultz. “It seemed like nobody in the music business had ever done a tour where they rode their bike across the country and did concerts. I thought, that sounds impossible, lets do that!”
Riding his bike alone across the country, Schultz says he sees it as a team endeavor with all the sponsors who have come alongside him and The James Fund, including the Christian adoption and family services agency, Bethany Christian Services (bethany.org), as well as Trek Bikes (trekbikes.com), Epiphone Guitars (epiphone.com), AB Bike Company (abbike.com), Family Christian Stores (familychristian.com), Regal Boats (www.regalboats.com), Gospel Music Association (gospelmusic.org), Buffini & Company (buffiniandcompany.com), Stuph Merchandising (stuphmerch.com) and more. Fans can further support the cause by signing up to sponsor Schultz’s bike ride at www.markacrossamerica.org. The website will also track Schultz’s progress on the tour, list concerts and special events, feature a photo gallery and more.
“The exciting thing for me is that on this bike tour, even though I’m riding my bike alone across the country, so many sponsors have come along side to help make this thing happen. I really feel that it is a team event because without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Steve Biondo, president of The James Fund says, “The James Fund is honored to have Mark Schultz join us as an advocate for the fatherless and the widow. Mark’s heart is like ours in that we desire to touch the lives of orphans and widows. Together we want to bring the news of Jesus Christ to these dear ones wherever we come in contact with them. We want to give them care for today and hope for eternity. This is the Father’s heart for the fatherless and widows and it is the passion Family Christian Stores Foundation, The James Fund, shares with Mark.”
Schultz finds his motivation for training for the bike tour from his wife’s encouragement and knowing that she completed a similar bike ride across America, and especially as he thinks about the orphans and the hopelessness he saw in their faces. He says that doing this tour to raise the money to support them makes it all worth it.
“Not only am I excited about this, but this may be what I’m meant to do.”
The Across America Bike Ride follows Schultz’s recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he was a featured performer at the Angels In Adoption Gala and shared the stage with Darryl “D.M.C” McDaniels, Representative Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, Idaho Senator Larry Craig, and other distinguished guests and elected officials. During the gala, Schultz performed “Everything To Me,” which is the story of his own adoption. Schultz will perform the song during concert stops along the bike ride.
The song is also featured on his Sept. 26, 2006 release and fifth career project, Broken & Beautiful, which debuted in the Top 5 on SoundScan’s Christian and Top 10 on the general market retail charts, marking the strongest street week of his career. After the 2005 release, Mark Schultz Live…A Night of Stories & Songs, sold Platinum and garnered Schultz his first GMA Dove award, Broken & Beautiful became one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. With his thought provoking lyrics and appealing music, Schultz’s latest effort is being heralded as his “career” album. The title track is the first multi-format hit single and No. 1 inspirational song from the album.
Lauded at No. 1 on Billboard’s “Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriters” list and with eight No. 1 hits, Schultz has been honored with a 2005 Dove Award, was the centerpiece of the U.S. Army campaign “Letters From War,” was named Christian Music Today’s Male Vocalist in 2003, and was featured on the national magazine program, “48 Hours.”
For additional information on Mark Schultz, visit www.markacrossamerica.org, www.markschultzmusic.com or www.wordlabelgroup.com.
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