Students cycling across nation raising funds, awareness for people with disabilities to stop at UT | UToledo News

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Students cycling across nation raising funds, awareness for people with disabilities to stop at UT

A team of 30 bicyclists who started the Journey of Hope in San Francisco will pedal into the area Tuesday, Aug. 2, and stop at The University of Toledo for the night.

UT students Tim Schlachter and Zach LePla are on the trek, which will stop at Sunshine Communities, 7223 Maumee Western Road, at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and then roll on to Stautzenberger College, where massage therapy students will work on the riders around 2 p.m.

Journey of Hope logoSchlachter, who is the crew chief, will lead the cyclists to UT’s Main Campus, where they will have dinner and stay overnight in the Academic House.

The cyclists will fuel up with breakfast at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, in the McComas Greek Village before continuing their trip.

UT student Conor Welsch, who participated in the event last year, will join the team when it rides through the area.

Journey of Hope is a program of the Ability Experience, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, which raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Three teams of men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters from across the country will bike about 4,000 miles from the West Coast to Washington, D.C., where they are scheduled to meet Saturday, Aug. 13.

At stops along the way, the students visit organizations that serve people with disabilities.

The Ability Experience/Push America has contributed greatly in the Toledo area. In the 1980s, Pi Kappa Phi students raised money to build adaptive play/therapeutic environments at Sunshine Children’s Home and the Anne Grady Center. In the 1990s, the organization returned to Sunshine Children’s Home to build a boardwalk to take residents and visitors though the wooded area behind the home and back to the stream.

In 2006, a group of 65 Pi Kappa Phi members donated a weekend to build accessible walkways through Sylvania Township’s Camp Miakonda, which is run by the local Boy Scout Council. The college students were from five states and received a $5,000 grant for the materials from Push America. In 2008, Pi Kapps returned with nearly 100 members to update the accessibility work, including the construction of a ramp to the council ring stage, an area which was previously inaccessible.

The Ability Experience was founded in 1977 with the hope of committing its members to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.

For more information, go to abilityexperience.org.

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