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'Journey of Hope' cyclists stop in Abilene, raise money, generate awareness

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Jul 10 2013 03:57:40 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Could you bike across the country? Most of us wouldn't, but this is how one fraternity is spending their summer.

The men of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity made a pit stop at the Disability Resources, Inc. during their "Journey of Hope" campaign.

The journey started in California and will end in Washington, D.C.

The 4,000-mile expedition raises money and awareness for people with disabilities. 

Journey of Hope is a program of Push America, the national philanthropy of the fraternity.

Riders cycle about 75 miles a day.

But it's more than just about riding a bike.

The campaign is committed to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.

"It just feels great to be part of something bigger than myself," said Ben Sansing, a student at Florida State University. "I'm able to serve and give back." 

Residents at Disability Resources were excited to greet the riders.

"It makes us very happy," Elissa Brown said.

"You wake up some mornings and you really don't want to keep going, but you think about the people you're meeting and what you're doing this for and it really helps you just keep biking," Virginia Tech student Nathan Barth said.

The biking band of brothers are from colleges across the nation.

How's biking in West Texas weather?

"The weather's a little rough," Arizona State University student Derek Hurtado said. "We've been making it through, definitely a lot of water and a lot of eating."

The bikers and DRI residents shared lunch before the cyclists went on their way.

"I think they're good," Brown said. "And what they do is good."

The cyclists will stay the night in Abilene and head out for Stephenville Thursday morning.

This year's Journey of Hope is projected to raise more than $500,000.

Since its inception in 1977, the campaign has raised more than $15 million.

All money raised from the campaign goes directly to improving the lives of people with disabilities.