PUSH AMERICA Fraternity bikes for awareness
The group will make a local stop Friday to teach about disabilities.
NILES -- A group of cyclists dedicated to bringing about awareness of Americans with disabilities will bring its campaign here.
The Journey of Hope team -- a group of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers from colleges and universities across the country -- will arrive at Saturn of Route 422 in Niles about 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Since 1977, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity has worked through its national philanthropy Push America to bring attention to the fact that one in five Americans has a disability.
Each summer, a group of 70 men cycle an average of 75 miles a day and stop in more than 115 communities nationwide.
During Friday's stop, the men will participate in a number of events, including performing a "Kids on the Block" puppet show designed to teach children about the abilities of people with disabilities. They also will visit with pupils and clients of Fairhaven that evening.
The men's two-month trip began in San Francisco in June, when the group traveled as one for a week. After that, the men split into two teams, with one traveling a northern route and the other a southern one. The teams will reunite Aug. 15 in Charleston, S.C., to celebrate the fraternity's 100th anniversary.
In addition to raising awareness about those with disabilities, the group also has a goal of raising more than $500,000 through a combination of team-member fund raising and corporate sponsorships.
Local sponsors of the trip are the Fairhaven Foundation, Saturn of Route 422, Olive Garden and YMCA of Niles.