Pi Kappa Phi fundraiser serves disabilities nonprofit

Members of Geneseo’s Pi Kappa Phi were found cycling for 12 hours non-stop, raising money to benefit those with disabilities. The fraternity—established on the premise of creating leadership opportunities, forming lifelong brotherhood and developing selflessness in each member—added various games in their event to amp up the appeal. 

The organization used posters and free food to entice passers-by into making donations at their event, which was held in the MacVittie College Union on Thursday Oct. 12. 

Pi Kappa Phi has donated the money raised to The Ability Experience—formerly known as Push America—a nonprofit organization serving people with disabilities. Founded in 1977, it is the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. By doing service for The Ability Experience, Pi Kappa Phi brothers aim to cultivate an early commitment to helping others, all while enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.

“The Ability Experience sponsors a transcontinental bike ride, called Journey of Hope, during the summer time and we actually had one of our brothers, Patrick McKinney, there as a rider. We also had two guys on crew, Noah Koven and Zerrick Barlow. The organization rides from city to city and at each stop they help people with disabilities,” Pi Kappa Phi member senior Matthew Burley said. 

Burley also emphasized that the fraternity’s dedication to The Ability Experience extends beyond any one event.

“During the school year, we do different projects, like helping set up camps for those with disabilities. It’s a really cool organization,” he said. 

Psychology major senior McKinney reached his fundraising goal of $5,500 for The Ability Experience in May and completed his bike ride in the summer of 2017. The bike-a-thon event in the Union added to that amount substantially.

Starting at 8 a.m., members of the group swapped in and out throughout the day until 8 p.m., constantly cycling and raising as much money as possible for their philanthropic organization. Students, professors and visitors to the school stopped to ask questions, talk to those involved and made donations. 

This included political science major senior Kate Sharp, who found the brother’s philanthropic works applaudable. 

“I think it is great that the fraternity has chosen to continue their philanthropic efforts during the semester,” Sharp said. “I know a couple of the guys in Pi Kappa Phi were involved over the summer with various things, so it’s really impressive that they’re still raising money for such a great cause––and cycling all day certainly isn’t easy.”

The fraternity, as well as other student organizations on campus, will continue to hold philanthropic events such as this throughout the year to aid various charities and organizations. Such events include the biggest fundraising event on campus, Geneseo’s Relay for Life—which is on Saturday April 14—and events hosted by Circle K Club, Colleges Against Cancer, Habitat for Humanity and other student volunteer groups.