When most people hear the term 'fraternity' they associate it with the stereotypical, brotherhood organization whose day to day goals consists of attending parties, running wild, and care-free; at least that's how movies portrays them.
Members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity break away from that stereo type by using their social organization to socialize in different, more impact-fulll ways by becoming a part of 'Push America'.
According to pushamerica.org, Push America is a non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities, founded in 1977 as 'the national philanthropy of Pi Kappy Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities'.
Push America has developed various programs throughout the years that have served as creative ways to raise funds that in turn are donated via-a grant to local organizations that serve people with disabilities.
One of the Push America sponsored events is Journey of Hope, a cycling event that was developed in 1987 and according to their website, has now become 'the largest fraternal fundraising and awareness event of its kind'.
The event currently covers 32 different states and it's solely composed of Pi Kappa members; the cycling extravaganza offers riders three routes to chose from: South Route, North Route, and TransAmerica Route.
A little hope at Arrowhead West
Dodge City was starred as a stopping location on the TransAmerica route, cyclist and Pi Kappa members stopped to visit with Arrowhead clients yesterday afternoon at the Western Kansas Division, 231 San Jose St.
Clients ate lunch with the fraternity guys and made their own ice cream afterwards to eat for dessert in addition to granting Arrowhead West a grant.
"We've given Arrowhead a $880 grant that they will use towards furniture at their new facility." Taylor Thompson, Public Relations Coordinator for TransAmerica route said.
The three routes have a collective fundraising goal of: $650,000 and according to Thompson, over half a million has been raised so far. Each cyclist that joins a route is required to raise $5,500 and crew members are required to raise $2,500.
"We raise funds through word of mouth, family, friends, and corporate sponsorship", Thompson said.
The cyclist will get an early start tomorrow riding out at 6 a.m. towards Pratt, KS with Washington, DC being their final destination. The route is a total of 71 days and cyclist ride an average of 85 miles a day.
"I encourage people who want to get involved or learn more information to visit our website", Thompson said. "Sign-ups for the 2014 route have begun and it's a great experience, everyone would enjoy it just like I have so far."