Oct 032010
Authors: Abel Oshevire

Today, the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity will help showcase the abilities and value of disabled people within the community.

Pi Kappa Phi is working with Play Units for the Severely Handicapped America, Push America, a non-profit organization started by Pi Kappa Phi alumni, to put on Abilities Day. The fraternity is doing so with the help of a $2,500 grant that was received last spring from Greek Leadership Vision.

“The goal is to show that, in our day and age, we have a two-front war going on,” said Geoff Hayes, senior liberal arts major and Pi Kappa Phi member.

Hayes said that Abilities Day serves to show that there are opportunities for people with disabilities to live a “very fulfilling life, despite their difference in physical ability.”

Today, the fraternity will occupy the Lory Student Center Plaza to host goal ball, 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball and wheelchair challenges.

“We want to raise awareness that people aren’t different because they use a wheelchair; they are people just like you and I,” Hayes said. “They have opportunities that you and I wouldn’t normally know about.”

Push America organizes programs to help raise funds for the fraternity’s philanthropy. This summer, members participated in the Journey of Hope, a cross-country cycling event crafted to raise money for organizations that support individuals with severe disabilities.

Each entrant had to bring in at least $5,000 in donations.

Over the lifetime of these events, Pi Kappa Phi has raised more than $13 million for people with disabilities, said Nick Leone, a senior marketing major and Pi Kappa Phi member who cycled the Journey of Hope this summer.

Each year, the fraternity raises more than $500,000, 85 percent of which goes directly back to people with disabilities.

“It is a great opportunity to interact with those people too,” Leone said.

For today’s initiative, the Resources for Disabled Students, Adaptive Recreation Opportunities –– a branch of the Fort Collins government that supports special needs activities –– and the Office of the CSU President is supporting Pi Kappa Phi.

As part of the program, there will also be an exhibition game by the Denver Harlequin rugby football club at the Moby auxiliary gym from 7 to 9 p.m.

Diversity Beat Reporter Abel Oshevire can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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