Meridian Star

July 11, 2013

Pedaling for hope Bicyclists raise awareness for those with disabilities

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A team of cyclists participating in Journey of Hope, presented by KRG Capital, will arrive in Meridian July 21 as a stop on their 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

    The Journey of Hope is proud to welcome Dallas Aasand, student at Mississippi State University, and Robert Smith, student at University of Southern Mississippi, as  part of the crew team.

    The team will have dinner at 5 p.m. with the Meridian First Ladies Civitan Club after they complete their 95-mile ride from Jackson.

    Journey of Hope is a program of Push America, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, which raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The Journey of Hope team consists of men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day, a total of 4,000 miles. Their trip began in San Francisco on June 9 and will end in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 10.

    For the team members, the real journey will not be on a bike, but spending time with the people for whom they are riding, according to a press release by The Journey of Hope.

    By the end of the trip, team members will have spent every afternoon with people with disabilities in many different community events and activities.

    "These men are striving for community inclusion of people with disabilities and are helping to break the barriers of society that keep people of all abilities from living life to the fullest," the press release states.

    "Push America’s goal has always been committing its members to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. With the combined efforts of sponsors and individual team members, this year’s Journey of Hope will raise more than $500,000 on behalf of people with disabilities. Push America and Pi Kappa Phi have fundraised over $15 million to date and continue to be on the cutting edge of the disability movement."