For the past decade, as fall rolls into Boulder, so do the men of Pi Kappa Phi for their annual â€œRegional Rideâ€ â€“â€“ a charity bike ride from Fort Collins to Boulder aimed at raising money and awareness for their philanthropy, Push America.
More than 80 people came out in support Saturday afternoon, with more than 50 biking the 55-mile stretch while others provided water and food for riders throughout the trek.
Founded in 1977 as a way to instill a commitment to service in its members, Push Americaâ€™s focus is to help people with physical and mental disabilities.
â€œIt (Push America) is the only philanthropy owned, operated and sustained by a fraternity,â€ said Pi Kappa Phi historian and construction management major Tyler Van Eeckhaut. â€œWe just want to help those who canâ€™t help themselves.â€
Members of both the CU-Boulder and CSU chapters started the Regional Ride as an offshoot of Journey of Hope, a charity cycling trip that stretches from San Francisco to Washington DC and raises money for Push America.
Serving as a â€œminiâ€ Journey of Hope, each rider in this weekendâ€™s event paid a minimum $25 donation before heading from the Fort Collins chapter house to the one in Boulder.
More than 50 people signed up to take part in the ride, including members from both chapters, Pi Kappa Phi alumni and sorority members on campus.
â€œWe had seven to 10 girls who made it the whole way on mountain bikes, which is really hard,â€ Van Eeckhaut said. â€œThey killed it.â€
According to Connor Petersen, the Regional Ride chair at CU-Boulderâ€™s chapter, the event raised $4,000, with each chapter receiving $2,000 to donate to the philanthropy.
â€œWhy we love our philanthropy so much is, not only are we raising money, but weâ€™re also spending time with people,â€ said Dru Avery, a junior business major and president of Pi Kappa Phiâ€™s CSU chapter.
In addition to the Regional Ride, many members of the fraternity are planning to head to Breckenridge in early October as part of another service project, building wheelchair ramps and other accessibility projects around town.
â€œThis is something that a lot of people donâ€™t think guys in fraternities are adamant about, but we really are,â€ Van Eeckhaut said, adding that while the Regional Ride is a main fundraiser, members also take part in weekly outings with children with disabilities.
â€œWe have all of these eventsÂ where we care so much about these kids, they become our friends,â€ he said.
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