Cyclists Arrive at Nations Capitol

In Mind, Body & Spirit, Pushing Forward by Push AmericaLeave a Comment

CHARLOTTE – This summer 86 undergraduate members of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, from colleges and universities across the United States rode across the country on a 4,000-mile, cycling trip entitled the Journey of Hope Presented by Saturn. They will bring to a close this summer long event as they reunite on the steps of the Capitol Building on August 16, 2003, starting at 11:00 with the Anniversary Ride Team and 12:00 with the North and South Teams. This event is a project of Push America, the national outreach project of Pi Kappa Phi that builds leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today.

The two month trip began in San Francisco as the 70 team members from the North and South teams crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and traveled together for the first week, then divided into two teams: one going north and one going south. They will reunite Saturday, August 16, 2003 on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

This year the Anniversary Ride Team celebrates 15 years of cycling and service with a third Journey of Hope Route. The team is traveling across the country, retracing the original route taken by the founder of the Journey of Hope, Bruce Rogers. This trek will not only celebrate the founding of the Journey of Hope, it will represent what nearly 900 men have accomplished over the last 15 years. They began on the pacific shores of Oregon in the town of Florence on June 7, 2003, and traveled through the scenic northwest, down the spine of the Rockies, through the heart of the Midwest, and over the Appalachians, finally reaching the Atlantic Coast in Yorktown Virginia on August 13, 2003.

In 1987, one man’s dream of riding his bike across the country was transformed in 1988 into the largest fraternal fund-raising and awareness event of its kind. Today the Journey of Hope Presented by Saturn reaches over 150 million people yearly through media and community events, bringing to the forefront the abilities of people with disabilities. From the inaugural team of 21 team members raising $20,000 the team has grown up into two teams of 35 Pi Kappa Phis raising over $400,000. To date, 798 undergraduates have participated in the Journey of Hope.

Averaging 70 miles per day, the student cyclists and crew will visit 117 communities to donate their time and manpower to spread a message of hope and understanding for people with disabilities. The team will participate in a variety of special events with local organizations that serve people with disabilities, including performing a “Kids on the Block” puppet show.

Celebrating 15 years of cycling and service, the Journey of Hope Presented by Saturn is expected to raise well over $350,000 through a combination of team-member fund-raising and corporate sponsorships. Sponsors of the Journey of Hope 2003 team include Saturn Corporation, KRG Capital Partners, LLC., Yakima and Clif Bar. In addition, each member raises $5,000 to participate in the trip and a national network of local sponsors and volunteers help plan events and secure logistics for the team. Local Sponsors include the United Stated Capitol Police, Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Katie Coleman, ESPN Zone, Hyatt Regency and Mr. Drew Klee.

Pi Kappa Phi is the only national men’s fraternity to establish and maintain its own service project. Its members have raised more than $8 million for Push America since it’s founding in 1977. Both Push America and Pi Kappa Phi are headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Press release provided by PushAmerica. For more information about PushAmerica and Journey of Hope, contact PushAmerica at PO Box 241368, Charlotte, NC 28224 or visit www.pushamerica.org.