Shannon Depenbrock

As Miami University students prepare to leave for the lazy days of summer, some students are planning for a unique experience, by biking 4,000 miles across the nation.

Six members of Miami’s chapter of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi will be biking across the U.S. to raise money for their national philanthropy, Push America.

Push America is a foundation completely unique to this fraternity, and they are the only fraternity in the nation to have set up and run their own program, according to senior political science major and member of Miami’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, Nick Cramer.

Cramer added that the goals of Push America are not only to raise money, but also to raise empathy for people with disabilities. Push America’s two summer programs, Build America and the Journey of Hope, will both include participants from Miami’s campus.

While the Journey of Hope is a bike trip across the nation, Build America, a newer program added to Push America, is a program in which members of Pi Kappa Phi throughout the country assist in making camps and communities more accessible for people with disabilities, according to Cramer.

The members of Miami’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter participating in the Journey of Hope have pledged to raise $5,000 each, contributing to their fraternity’s national goal of raising $500,000, all of which will go directly to programs that aid in the lives of people living with disabilities.

“This is sure to be both physically and mentally exhausting for everyone involved, but it is nothing compared with what millions of people (with disabilities) deal with on a daily basis,” Cramer said.

The bike trip, which honors its 20th anniversary this year, begins in various cities, such as San Francisco, Calif. and Florence, Ore. The routes different riders will be taking, however, all end on the same day in Washington D.C., where a ceremony will be held and a donation will be presented to the Push America foundation, according to Cramer.

Junior Chris Burton, Interfraternity Council President, is proud that a fraternity at Miami will be actively aiding their philanthropy over the summer.

“The men of Pi Kappa Phi are an excellent example of what it means to value your philanthropy,” Burton said. “They invest so much time, energy and training to the Journey for Hope.”

According to Burton, Miami’s fraternities have a strong record of continuous relationships with their philanthropic foundations.

“For fraternity members, participating in philanthropies such as the Journey for Hope is a bonding experience, not only for members of the same chapter, but for members across the nation to be able to contribute to the same national philanthropic foundations,” Burton said.

The members of Pi Kappa Phi are continuously raising money and awareness for Push America, and are looking forward to their upcoming bike trip and experience.

“We are all very excited to be able to do this event,” Cramer said. “When it is all over we will not be the same people as when it started, we will be better people for it, and we will have made the lives of so many special people better as well.”