Whiz Kid: Matthew Phelps
Nominated By: Michele L. Kaup
Whiz Kid's Name: Matthew Phelps
Whiz Kid’s Age or Grade: Ninth Grade
Whiz Kid's School: Severna Park High School
Whiz Kid's Accomplishment: Matthew completed the STP (Seattle to Portland) 204 mile bike ride in two days in order to raise cancer awareness.
Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: A family tragedy gave Matthew perseverance and a willingness to serve. Upon the death of Matthew’s stepfather’s mother in 2007, the Kaup family created an organization in her honor called Team Joy Rocks. The organization was created to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and provide funding to build a site for the Gilda’s Club, a cancer support center in Tacoma, WA.
Team Joy Rocks has used the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride as a way to fundraise for cancer awareness for the last four years. Along with 18 other riders, Team Joy raised over $12,000 with the ride and a silent auction held this July. Matthew raised just under $1,000 dollars and rode for 204 miles in two days.
In her nomination submission, mom Michele Kaup notes, “Matthew set the goal to ride during last year's STP, where he rode the first 25 miles and then volunteered as support for the other riders. Matthew trained for over three months to build the endurance to complete the ride. It [is] such a great accomplishment.”
“While riding, the Team Joy members wear a bike jersey with a picture of Joyce on the back along with the Blue Ovarian Cancer ribbon. Many people stop and ask about the jerseys,” said Kaup.
Using the Baltimore Annapolis Trail and the Airport loop, Matthew was able to build more than enough stamina during training to traverse the C&O Canal, an 85 mile trip from Harper’s Ferry to Washington, DC.
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