For the 20th year, members of Pi Kappa Phi’s Beta Omicron Chapter at Northwestern State University welcomed the Journey of Hope cycling team to Louisiana on their cross-country trek on behalf of people with disabilities.
Each Summer since the chapter re-organized 20 years ago, student members, alumni, friends, and family have celebrated the arrival of The Ability Experience to the Bayou State.
The Journey of Hope team, consisting of 20 cyclist and six crew members, arrived at Shriners Hospital in Shreveport on Tuesday, July 16, after a 75 mile bike ride from Longview, Texas, as part of a 4,370-mile cycling event across the country. The Journey of Hope team consists of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity men from across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day ending at the United States Capitol on August 10. Every cyclist commits to raising a minimum of $6,000 on behalf of people with disabilities.
Beta Omicron Chapter alumnus George Etheredge, who is also a Shriner, organized a barbecue luncheon for the cyclists, patients and visitors. Student members of the Beta Omicron Chapter served up barbecue chicken, sausage, beans, potato salad, watermelon and cookies, before participating in a friendship visit with the children receiving treatment at the hospital.
This group is one of three Journey of Hope teams that have committed their summer to support people with disabilities through community events, advocacy presentations and grant support.
Several members of the Beta Omicron Chapter have also completed the Journey of Hope in recent years.
The mission of The Ability Experience is to use shared experiences to support people with disabilities and develop the men of Pi Kappa Phi into servant leaders. The Ability Experience is the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi. Along with the Journey of Hope, The Ability Experience also builds amenities at camps for people with disabilities and host events with local partners at Pi Kappa Phi’s 185 chapters across the country.
Founded in 1977, the Ability Experience is committed to raising funds and public awareness on behalf of people with disabilities. Combined with corporate sponsorships, the 2019 Journey of Hope will raise more than $750,000 for people with disabilities across the nation.