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Journey of Hope Riders Making Las Vegas Stop

PHOTO: Las Vegas is scheduled to get some special visitors on bicycles Tuesday as the Journey of Hope crosses the country raising money and awareness for people with disabilities. Photo courtesy of The Ability Experience.
PHOTO: Las Vegas is scheduled to get some special visitors on bicycles Tuesday as the Journey of Hope crosses the country raising money and awareness for people with disabilities. Photo courtesy of The Ability Experience.
June 15, 2015

LAS VEGAS - College students cycling across the country to raise money and awareness about people with disabilities are scheduled to stop in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members will ride about 3,700 miles over two months from California to Washington, D.C., and raise more than $500,000 in the process, said Jake Miller. public relations coordinator for the nonprofit group The Ability Experience, which organizes the Journey of Hope.

"We give grants to places where we stop," Miller said. "We give grants throughout the year to campsites and stuff like that, and also throughout the course of the summer with our bikers riding across the nation we are able to raise awareness for those with disabilities, so it helps in a multifaceted way."

Miller said the stop in Las Vegas is coordinated with the city's Adaptive Recreation program and will involve the cyclists visiting with people who have a physical or intellectual disability - and also taking some time to play wheelchair basketball and do some bowling.

Each cyclist in the Journey of Hope is responsible for raising $5,500 in addition to pedaling 3,700 miles and stopping in 51 cities, Miller said.

"They train all year long, the cyclists do, and they have a very strict plan, which they have to follow," he said. "On top of that, they have to fundraise the money, so they're very busy all year long, so this is actually kind of a culmination of efforts for them."

Miller said the Journey of Hope has raised more than $12 million since it started in 1987.

More information on the Journey of Hope is online at pushamerica.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV