A group of Luther College students and professors are planning a 75-mile-long bike ride from Rochester, Minnesota, to Decorah on Saturday to raise money for Ukraine.

Anita Tamang, a Luther College senior, is one of the event’s organizers. “It needs to be, like, collective effort. Like, we just need to stand up for whatever’s right and from whatever point that we can,” she says, “and I thought: ‘I love biking.'”

Tamang was inspired by her Luther College anthropology professor, who is a native of Ukraine. “I was trying to put myself in her position and try to think: ‘I’m a professor, trying to teach…How would I feel?'” Tamang says.

Luther professor Maryna Nading still has family and friends in Ukraine who she says are resisting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inspiring others to “do the impossible” wherever they may be. Nading’s student says bike riders on Saturday will show that even though they’re not directly affected by the situation in Ukraine, they’re willing to show they care.

“I care about the world issues,” Tamang says. “…My way of fighting against injustice is always action.”

The money raised by bike riders will go to the cancer clinic in Nading’s hometown in Ukraine, where the professor’s mother works. Participating riders plan to leave Rochester at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and plan to get back to Decorah right around 6:30 p.m.

Organizers have created a Facebook page for the event. The GoFundMe page for donations shows more than $4500 had been raised by late yesterday afternoon.

(Reporting by Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah & Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)