From Scotland to The Netherlands,
Eta Chi members are raising thousands of dollars and awareness for people with
disabilities with a 1,000-mile bike ride across Europe.
Junior Jay Baumgardner and seniors Hunter Sprague and Addison
White, members of TCU’s Eta Chi chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, finished the 16-day ride
for Push America on August 7.
Push America is a national non-profit organization for Pi Kappa
Phi, Sprague said. Its goal is to raise funds and awareness for people with
disabilities, as well as spread a message of acceptance and understanding of
people with disabilities, Sprague said.
Sprague and his group had fundraising goal of $10,000, but
ultimately they collected $14,049.78. Seventy percent of raised funds will go
to groups in Europe that serve people with disabilities, Sprague said.
“All of the cyclists and crew members were required to fundraise a
minimum of $1,000,” Sprague said. “The majority of funds came from our
Executive Sponsor, Asia Broadcast Satellite, that donated
$5,000 to our event and without their help, this event would not have been able
When I joined Pi Kappa Phi, I was exposed to Push America, and
began to volunteer my time regularly at KinderFrogs,” Sprague said.
Through his fraternity, Sprague also learned of an event called
Journey of Hope. Journey of Hope is a 67-day, 4,000 mile bike ride across the
United States that raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.
Sprague decided to participate in the ride after his sophomore year and wanted
to make it into something even more, he said.
“I decided I wanted to continue to expand Push America's message
of acceptance and understanding of people with disabilities,” Sprague said.
“During the planning process, the entire team decided we should honor the
children at KinderFrogs by dedicating this ride to them, and we wear their logo
on our jerseys.”
Planning the event proved difficult for the members of Pi Kappa
Phi, but after putting hard work into organization, all of their efforts paid
off, Sprague said.
“We have met with four different organizations in the UK, and all
experiences were wonderful, Sprague said. “Each group offered a unique service
to help serve people with both physical and developmental disabilities.”
The event, which began in Glasgow, Scotland and went through the
UK to London, across the English Channel into France, Paris, Belgium and the
Netherlands, presented some familiar territory for Sprague.
Sprague lived in Holland for 10 years, from age eight until 18.
“Because I had lived there for so long, I felt that I had a good
enough understanding of Europe to create a cycling event there,” Sprague said.
“I must admit, I have been wrong on how things work here, and there have been
some cultural hiccups. For the most part, though, my understanding of Europe
has helped us navigate through the country and interact with the locals.”
Sprague said that he has heard very positive feedback from other
chapters of the fraternity and is seeing increasing interest. He hopes for the
event to become annual and to have Pi Kappa Phi members across the nation
participate in the future.
“I hope that every year the event continues to get better,”
This article originally appeared on tcu360.com.
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