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Cyclists on philanthropic bicycle tour stop in Columbia

Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 8:54 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 23, 2009
Max Patnoe, Matt Schmidt and Mike Keough arrive at their hotel in Columbia after riding from Sedalia that morning in the latest leg of their cross-country bike ride Wednesday. The participants in the "Journey of Hope" ride are members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. The participants hope to raise money and promote public understanding of the issues facing disabled Americans.

COLUMBIA — Members of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity have been cycling across the country for the past month and a half to raise money for people with disabilities.  

Twenty-one cyclists from various chapters of the fraternity rode into the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Columbia at 1 p.m. Wednesday after cycling from Sedalia.

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The Journey of Hope, organized by Push America, has cyclists on three different routes traveling through 32 states, according to its Web site. The TransAmerica team, which will leave Columbia tomorrow at 6 a.m. and travel to Union, started out in Seattle on June 10 and is expecting to finish in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 15.

“I always call it the greatest road trip,” said Clement Warr, a graduate of Truman State University.  

Pi Kappa Phi members have been cycling across the country for Journey of Hope for the past 21 years. Every year, the three teams of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity members are chosen through an application process. They then spend more than two months cycling an average of 75 miles a day and visiting organizations and people with disabilities.  

Each cyclist is expected to raise at least $5,000.

“There’s a lot of training involved,” said Jeremy Jones, project manager for Journey of Hope.  

Each cyclist is required to go through six to eight months of training, Jones said. This includes cross-country cycling, spinning classes and running.

“You have to prepare yourself,” Warr said. “And that means staying both physically and mentally focused.”  

There is also training and orientation in Seattle the weekend before the cyclists begin their ride, Jones said.  

“It’s been the summer of a lifetime,” said Shane Mulrooney, also a graduate of Truman State University.  

One of the organizations the fraternity has worked with is The Arc. The Arc is an association that seeks to "improve systems of supports and services" for people with physical and mental disabilities, according to its Web site.

Fraternity members helped people in the association through job training and living environment adjustments.  

"The impact that you make on people is just life-changing,” Mulrooney said.

MU's chapter, Pi Kappa Phi Beta Epsilon, does not currently have anyone on the tour, but it plans to have two participants next year, said Louis D. Terbrock, the vice archon of recruitment for Pi Kappa Phi.

“It’s a pretty cool thing,” Terbrock said. “Those riders have lots of stories.”  

“Every day’s an adventure,” Jones said.


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Comments

Ray Shapiro July 23, 2009 | 1:43 a.m.

("One of the organizations the fraternity has worked with is The Arc. The Arc is an association that seeks to "improve systems of supports and services" for people with physical and mental disabilities, according to its Web site.")
Seems to me, from the Arc's mission statement. that it's an MRDD type organization. Delving deeper into the website there was some mention of a program where they partnered with the Cerebral Palsy Association. No mention that ARC is involved directly with physical disabilities.
("Members of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity have been cycling across the country for the past month and a half to raise money for people with disabilities.")
I'd be interested in knowing the "laundry list" of disability agencies, if any, which receive monies directly from this "fund raiser."
Seems to me that the monies raised stay with Push America.
Instead of making a big deal that these guys ride bicycles, perhaps a truer story should reflect how Push America provides their own volunteers and program services to agencies and organizations.
Sort of like a domestic "Peace Corp" with the disabled as their service population. Commendable and admirable, however the Missourian article is misleading.
Once again, the article seems to glorify cycling and blurs the "philanthropic" reality.
I wonder why that is?
(Reminds me of that Humane Society contest for an invisible million dollars. Good PR opportunity, but why not just tell tell the real story?)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 23, 2009 | 1:52 a.m.

("The participants hope to raise money and promote public understanding of the issues facing disabled Americans.")
From the website I see how they raise money. They simply ask for donations.
The big secret seems to be, what information are they sharing with regard to the issues facing disabled Americans, who are they sharing this information with and how is this information being disseminated?

(Report Comment)
Sally Hagarty July 23, 2009 | 9:38 a.m.

My son is one of the cyclists. They do, in fact, present money to organizations along the route, as well as during the year, as a result of grant requests from these organizations, and the money raised by the cyclists does go toward these grants. The Journey of Hope cyclists meet with various organizations of people with disabilities, learning from them, and sharing their time and talent. They also do a puppet show called Kids on the Block, for groups such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America, in which they teach children to recognize each individual's abilities and talents. I hope this answers some of your questions.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 23, 2009 | 1:30 p.m.

@Ms. Hagarty:
Thanks for responding as a proud mom should.
Their efforts are indeed admirable and commendable.
This news article doesn't even begin to do them justice.
Cycle on Garth!

(Report Comment)

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