Meridian Star

July 20, 2013

Cross country cyclists raise disability awareness

Group to stop in Meridian Sunday

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 Sunday as a stop on their 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

    Dallas Aasand, a student at Mississippi State University, and Robert Smith, a student at University of Southern Mississippi, are joining the team of cyclists for their ride.

    Team members 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 Seattle and will end in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 10.

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

    Push America’s goal is 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 hopes to raise more than $500,000 on behalf of people with disabilities.

    Push America and Pi Kappa Phi have raised more than $15 million to date and continue to be on the cutting edge of the disability movement, according to the press release.

For more information on Push America, visit their website at, or follow the team on Twitter @JOHSouth.