The Greece Post: “Risking it all, for Charity”

We got our first real media coverage this morning, from Jeff’s local newspaper, The Greece Post. Jeff is a teacher in the Greece, N.Y. school district.

We pasted the full article below, but you can also find it on the The Greece Post website if you want to read it through the “official” channel. It’s a great little article.

Way to go, Jeff!

Risking it all, for Charity

Jeff Andrews, left, is seen here with improv partner BJ Scanlon. The pair will put on a benefit show June 10 to support Andrews' upcoming charity venture.

Jun 3rd, 2011
By Alysa Stryker, staff writer
Messenger Post

GREECE, N.Y. — They will leave with nothing but one vehicle, seven visas, a small amount of cash and the intention of trekking 10,000 miles through 17 countries.

They will together face an unforgiving environment–corrupt police, remote locations and no help or guidance, travelling from England, Belgium and Germany, through the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and finally through to Mongolia–all in the name of raising money for the betterment of children’s lives at home and around the world.

And of course, for the sheer adrenaline of it all.

On July 23, Jeff Andrews, a third-year teacher at Greece Olympia High School and a local comedian/actor, will set out on a journey with two other locals from upstate New York through a program called The Mongol Rally in support of the S.O.S. Children’s Villages and The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.

The program, a “charity car rally” where teams travel to raise money in an underpowered car, will take them through a vast and most often treacherous landscape.

Andrews and his team were given just a few simple rules—do not use a GPS or any electronic navigational devices, travel in a car with a 1200cc engine or less, and raise money for a cause.

The rest is up to them, from the route they take, the food they find, and the shelter they choose.

“There is no AAA in these countries, “ Andrews joked. “I’m really terrified if the car breaks down.”

Andrews says they aim to raise $5,000, or as much as possible, to donate to the charities, and in addition, the vehicle will be donated and auctioned off in support of Adventures for Development Mongolia when the trip comes to a close.

Out of all the locations they will weave through, Andrews says he is frightened about one particularly dangerous portion of the trip.

“I’m terrified (for) once we hit the Caspian Sea, because Iran is underneath, and we’re going to be going around the border,” he said. “A lot of our friends and famiy are terrified for us, but our strong feeling is that if we don’t do this now, there might not be an opportunity in the future. This might be the only time to do it.”

And then there’s the sleeping arrangements, which Andrews says they will figure out as they go on the road.

“It depends on how smelly you want to be, and knowing us, we’re going to be very smelly,” said Andrews.

They will be bringing tents, and occasionally might sleep in the car, or try to hit major cities for a cheap hostel or motel.

“You just have to keep everything in the car and lock it,” said Andrews. “It’s a risk we’re willing to take.”

The three have dubbed their team “The Rubber Duckies” after a joke that dates back to early childhood.

“Pete (one of the other two members on the Mongol Rally Team) and I were members of Troop 38 in Owego, NY for our entire childhoods,” said Andrews, “and every single time we’d go on a scouting adventure, all of the vehicles in our caravan would use CB Radios to keep in touch on the road.”

Setting out on this trip reminded them of a song from the late 70s they used to hear often, called “Convoy” by C.W. McCall.

“The name of the trucker in Convoy is The Rubber Duck. Every time we went on a Boy Scout trip, Jeff’s dad would use “Rubber Duck” as the call sign for their blue minivan and blast Convoy. Now when I hear that song, I instantly think of our Boy Scout roadtrips and adventures.”

On June 10, a benefit show for the trip will be put on by Andrews’ improv comedy group, The Broken Couch. The show will run from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Hungerford building on 1115 East Main Street in Rochester. Tickets are $10.

To learn more about their adventures, or how you can help, check out the team’s website here.

Copyright 2011 Greece Post. Some rights reserved.

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