TOPEKA – The Journey of Hope team will be arriving in Topeka Sunday, July 15, at the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) for a visit with KNI residents and Topeka residents served by TARC, Inc. This stop comes after a 70-mile ride from Emporia, the 40th day of a 4,370-mile cycling event across the country. This group of 28 cyclists and six crew members is one of three Journey of Hope teams that will directly enhance the lives of thousands of people with disabilities through grant funding and community engagement.
Staff and residents representing KNI and TARC will greet the team at an arrival ceremony at 1:30 p.m. The July 15 event will add to the more than 13 stops Journey of Hope has made in Topeka since it began the yearly trek across the country 30 years ago.
“We welcome these cyclists to KNI as part of their cross-country journey. Their efforts in raising awareness for people with disabilities is very much appreciated,” said KNI Superintendent Brent Widick.
KNI, one of two state hospitals that care for individuals with developmental disabilities, is administered by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS); TARC serves individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Shawnee County. TARC enhances the lives of people affected by intellectual, developmental and related disabilities through its commitment to excellence in service, support and advocacy.
Journey of Hope cyclists believe time spent with organizations such as TARC and KNI are impactful because they help break down barriers and highlight the abilities of all people. The Journey of Hope team consists of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity men from across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day eventually ending their tour at the National Capitol in Washington, D.C., August 11. Every cyclist commits to raising a minimum of $5,500 on behalf of people with disabilities to enhance their quality of life.
“The young men of Pi Kappa Phi are some of the most inspirational and dedicated college students I have ever known. They take great pride in cycling over mountains, plains and the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas to bring much needed awareness about individuals with disabilities,” said TARC Development Director Sherry Lundry.
The Ability Experience organizes Journey of Hope and two other large service projects each summer, and is the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi. Founded in 1977, the Ability Experience is committed to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. Combined with corporate sponsorships, the 2018 Journey of Hope will raise more than $650,000 for people with disabilities across the nation. The Ability Experience has raised over $16 million in its 41-year history.
The Ability Experience is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities through educational programs, awareness raising events and donations of specially designed equipment and recreational environments.
Visit http://www.abilityexperience.org/ to learn more about Journey of Hope and the other Ability Experience summer events.