LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Fraternity members from across America are spending the start of their summer vacations in Florida, raising money to help the disabled.
It’s called “Gear up America,” and it’s sure to work up a sweat!
The fraternity brothers are cycling to raise money to help people with disabilities.
“People only know they have a disability if someone tells them that. You’re not born feeling like you have a disability,” said Andre Arman.
The cyclists are members, or alumni, of Pi Kappa Phi. They made their first stop Monday at the Special Populations Center in Cape Coral. There they shared lunch with center clients and even had an impromptu dance.
Different fraternities around the country have come under fire recently for inappropriate behavior. Most recently, members of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at the University of Florida were accused of spitting on disabled veterans in North Florida.
“That’s not what we stand for,” said Cody Stoddard. “A lot of the good that fraternities do is overshadowed.”
Each cyclist has to get financial pledges in advance, at least $2,500 per man. People at Special Populations appreciate the attention and help.
“They’re making me happy, and proud of myself, in my heart,” said Lisa Morgan.
The fraternity brothers hope their tour across Florida will enrich their own lives, as well as those they meet.
“I’m in IT, so I am in meetings all day and coming out here and seeing the genuine happiness that I can provide is absolutely amazing,” said Arman.
The cyclists are just beginning their tour of the state. They will travel hundreds of miles over the next two weeks. With grants from corporate sponsors, the fraternity hopes to give more than $75,000 to groups that help the disabled.