Since 1997, more than 300 Pi Kappa Phis have participated in Gear Up Florida, as part of the fraternity’s “The Ability Experience” national philanthropy. According to the national organization’s website, the event itself is pretty special:
This 800-mile cycling event kicks off on the shores of Miami, travels through the Florida orange fields, reaches the Gulf coast, passes through Orlando, comes back to the Atlantic coast and culminates at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. The team spreads a message of acceptance and understanding to communities in Florida through newspapers, radio and television, civic groups and community leaders, reaching millions of people annually.
Gear Up Florida’s programming is what makes this event so unique. Every event is centered on the mission of the trek. Some days team members will visit three different organizations that support people with disabilities. Seeing the direct impact on the people they raise money for is very emotional for team members. You cannot help, but be touched by the gratitude and kindness that is shown along Gear Up Florida. When the trip is complete, team members always look back and it is the friendships made with people with disabilities that have the most impact on each man.
This year, thirty-three men from the organization participated, raising $88,300 for the cause. Five of them were members from the chapter at the University of Toledo, who spoke to their local news station 13ABC about the experience.
“We all worked together to fundraise a lot of money for all the places that we visited,” UT chapter member Sam Reihs told the station. His chapter brother, Christian Nopper, added, “Seeing all of the people clap and cheer and have the police escort was probably the greatest things I have experienced.”
Good job, guys.
[via 13 ABC]
Image via 13 ABC