May 092010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

While most students spend the summer relaxing, Nick Leone and Joey Stassi will embark on a 4,000-mile trek across America –– on their bikes.

Hosted by Push America, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity’s national philanthropy, The Journey of Hope is designed to raise money for organizations that support individuals with severe disabilities. Leone and Stassi, along with 90 other Pi Kappa Phi members nationwide, were required to raise at least $5,000 for the cause.

June 5 marks the day when the two CSU business majors leave home for Seattle, Washington, where they’ll kick off the Trans-America route of the bike ride. The Journey of Hope begins at three separate locations on the West Coast, and all teams come together in Washington D.C. on Aug. 14.

The road to D.C. can be rough, Leone said, and in the past guys who’ve taken spills “get stitched up and keep riding.” A van follows behind the group in case of serious injuries or bike problems.

With just a backpack, a duffle bag and a bike, Leone and Stassi hit more than 50 cities to spend time with disabled people.

On the route, Leone said, the riders will distribute 17 grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to keep their host organizations up and running.

The team will also make a pit stop in Fort Collins for the 4th of July where both will share stories of the journey.

Push America founded the Journey of Hope in 1987, and Leone said CSU’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi has participated for the past 10 years. The driving force for dedicating his summer to service, he said, was working with local disabled service organizations and a presentation about the event at an Alternative Spring Break in Texas.

Despite his lack of training, Leone said, he is excited to spend time with the communities he will visit.

For Stassi it’s not only about personal accomplishment but helping others.

So far he has raised $3,800 and said students who want to contribute can text PUSH199 to 550555 and donate $5.

Leone has raised $4,250 in donations and said students interested in adding to his fund can text PUSH270 to 50555 to help him meet his goal.

News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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