Fraternity cyclists coming through Craig to help disabled residents

With all the bicyclists coming through Craig it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.

30 fraternity brothers will ride into Craig today and look to make their mark with developmentally disabled residents in the area.

The cross-country bike ride, celebrating its 25th year, began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco June 3 and will span nine weeks before the riders finish in Washington, D.C., August 5.

Push America is a philanthropy started by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which raises funds for people with disabilities.

The Pi Kappa Phi brothers will arrive after a 90-mile ride from Dinosaur and will stop at the Boys and Girls Club at 2 p.m. to give a presentation on bicycle safety, as well as read the story, “Wendy on Wheels.”

The brothers then will have dinner and friendship visits with clients from Horizons Specialized Services, 439 Breeze St. The friendship visits involve the cyclists participating in activities with the Horizons clents, and will take place at Maple House, 68 Maple St.

Ricky Rascon, a public relations crew member, said the friendship visits are key to making the ride a success.

“It’s important that we spend time with these people because that’s who we’re riding for,” Rascon said.

Horizons Day Program Coodinator Deb Kirby said the event benefits Horizons clients each year.

“It’s nice (for the clients) to meet and interact with the people that provide for them,” Kirby said. “We’re having a western theme this year, and our clients and staff have made a banner to present to them. That’s how much they look forward to this each year.”

The Journey for Hope was born in 1987, when one Pi Kappa Phi rode across the country to increase awareness on Push for America. In 1988, 21 members of the fraternity got together and completed a similar ride for the inaugural Journey.

Three different groups of Pi Kappa Phis started the ride in San Francisco (heading North), Long Beach, Calif. (heading South), and Seattle (Trans-American route) and will meet in Washington in August.

Each rider pledges to raise money individually and the event as a whole receives donations from sponsors. The philanthropy raises over $500,000 annually, according to the Push America website.

For more information or to make a donation, visit http://pushamerica.org.

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