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CSU fraternity members bike across America

August 18, 2014
by Cassie Crutchfield

David Strassi and Bryce Whitehill are just two fraternity brothers who made a difference this summer.

The two spent their summer biking across America in an effort to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities. Together, they raised more than $12,300 that will go to the organizations they volunteered at along their routes.

Where they volunteered

Whitehill and Strassi, members of  Pi Kappa Phi, participated in The Journey of Hope, part of Push America’s mission to change how society views both fraternities and people with disabilities. The organization aims to raise money through cycling and construction events, and since its creation in 1977, Push America has raised more than $15 million for organizations that serve people with disabilities.

The Journey of Hope was a 10-week (71 day) bike ride across the country with frequent volunteer stops along the way. The event included three separate routes: north, south, and Transamerica. Each route included roughly 20 to 30 Pi Kappa Phis. Strassi took the Transamerica route starting in Seattle, and Whitehill took the north route starting in San Francisco. Both averaged about 75 miles per day ending the journey together in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 2.  Each route visited organizations that received Push America grants. Whitehill and Strassi volunteered at children’s camps and played with disabled adults in games such as wheelchair basketball and other activities.

Supporting various organizations

Along their ride, Strassi raised $5,920and Whitehill raised $6,472. Combined with the 70 other Pi Kappa Phi participants from universities across the country, The Journey of Hope brought inmore than $550,000.

The money is given out in grants to various organizations that serve people of all ages and varying disabilities. In past years, it has gone to renovating playgrounds to make them accessible to children of all abilities; ultimately each individual organization decides how the money is spent.

"When considering joining a fraternity as a freshman, I wanted to make sure that they believed and supported something I could see myself being a part of," Strassi said. "When Push America was introduced to me, I knew immediately that it was going to be the right fit. Pi Kappa Phi would not be where it is today without having such a great nonprofit organization it backs."