Story and photos by Theresa Rose
On Sunday, July 1, 28 members of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity bicycled into Fort Collins to raise funds and awareness for the developmentally disabled. Along with 6 support team members, the cyclists arrived at the Aztlan Center to lay out their sleeping bags, mulch trees and play games. Mayor Wade Troxel and councilman Ray Martinez were present to support the cause.
For thirty one years, the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity has been cycling across the country to raise funds and awareness for the developmentally disabled. This year the route began in Seattle to conclude in Washington D.C. and by the end of the ride, participants would have covered 4330 miles.
Each participant is required to raise $5500. According to Jared Levin, spokesperson for the team, they had already raised $620,000. The Journey of Hope is a branch of The Ability Experience, the philanthropic effort of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit with numerous programs educating undergraduates, alumni and communities about the abilities of people with disabilities. Formerly known as Push America, the Ability Experience was begun in 1977 and the Journey of Hope is only one of the events the organization sponsors to support the disabled. Charity Navigator, an organization which monitors charities, rates the Ability Experience at 85 out of 100 percent for financial success, accountability and transparency.
Levin, a student at Virginia Tech, speaks for the entire organization when he says “It’s awesome to see what one person can do,” and that “Everyone can make a difference”.