Journey of Hope cyclists in Rockford July 14

Online Staff Report

Saturday, July 14, James Fliss, Peter Bassick, William Baker, and Christopher Kavanugh, all brothers of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, will arrive in Chicago as part of a nine-week, 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. These young Illinois men will be accompanied by 24 other cyclists on the 25th Journey of Hope team.

Meet these men as they arrive at the I.D. Pennock Branch of the YMCA of the Rock River Valley at 1:30 p.m., July 14, after a 110-mile ride from Dubuque, Iowa. Then, at 3 p.m., the team will have a softball tournament with All Abilities Wheelchair. The I.D. Pennock Branch of the YMCA is at 200 Y Blvd., Rockford.

Journey of Hope is a program of Push America, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, which raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The Journey of Hope team consists of men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day, beginning in San Francisco and Seattle, and ending in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5.

At stops across the country, the three routes (North, South and TransAmerica) will distribute grants directly to assist organizations in serving people with disabilities. For the team, the real journey will not be on a bike, but spending time with the people for whom they are riding.

The Journey of Hope team members will spend every afternoon with people with disabilities in many different community events and activities. These men are striving for community inclusion of people with disabilities and are helping to break the barriers of society that keep people of all abilities from living life to the fullest.

This year marks Push America’s 35th anniversary and Journey of Hope’s 25th. The organization was founded in 1977 with the hope of committing its members to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. With the combined efforts of sponsors and individual team members, this year’s Journey of Hope will raise more than $600,000 on behalf of people with disabilities. Push America and Pi Kappa Phi have raised more than $15 million to date, and continue to be on the cutting edge of the disability movement.

For more about this event or more about Push America’s summer programs, contact Paul Willar at (704) 504-2400, ext. 234, or visit

Posted July 11, 2012

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