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Cross-country fraternity bike ride raises awareness for people with disabilities

Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video
Updated: Jul. 6, 2018 at 10:25 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Fraternities often make news for the wrong reasons, but Pi Kappa Phi is making headlines for a good cause.

It's called the Ability Experience. Members of the fraternity, from different colleges and universities, raise awareness for people with disabilities by riding bikes coast to coast. Members stop at churches and assisted living facilities along the way to spend time with people with disabilities.

Crosbie Jarrett is an alumni of Pi Kappa Phi and current PR Coordinator for the South group of the Ability Project:

"Most of the time we will have what are called friendship visits. Basically when we come to a place like this: a learning center, or a group home for people with disabilities, we'll just do whatever they want to do whether it's games, dance parties, or just having lunch with them. Just anything we can do to try and make their days better."

Members of the Ability Experience come from all parts of the country. There are three groups that take different routes across the country. The South group makes its way through Lubbock, where Will Parker of Colorado State, is from:

"This route has gone for 31 years. There's three routes. We start in Long Beach and go through Texas and so on. That's why I chose this route: just so we can go through Lubbock."

To take part, team members must fundraise over $5,000 which goes toward travel expenses and grants to local organizations that serve people with disabilities. The whole trip is about a two-month process.

We asked these two what it was that made them want to spend their summers in such a different way:

"I just wanted to do something bigger than myself. That's what my parents have always taught me. It's just good to spread the wealth and spread the awareness," Parker said.

"My father, he is a school teacher for children with either mental and physical disabilities, and also children who are just not growing up in the best environments. It's something that I've had experience with and a cause that's close to my heart," Jarrett said.

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