by Mathew Tan | staff writer
The David R. Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike-a-Thon was held last week from November 5th through November 7th by the Purdue’s Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity to raise money for The Ability Experience, a nonprofit organization founded and operated by the fraternity.
Over the span of three days, members of Pi Kappa Phi and people from the Purdue community made donations or pledged $10 an hour to ride stationary bike trainers in memory of David Feltner, a chapter brother who passed away in 2011 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The money raised from the event benefits people with disabilities and is also part of a mission to “Spread the Word to End the Word”. The purpose of the mission is to end the use of the “R” word when speaking about people with disabilities.
More than a hundred Pi Kappa Phi brothers took part in the bike-a-thon including Mike McBride, a senior who has participated in the event for four years. The fraternity raised over $5,000 and its success was due in part to moving the event from the Pi Kappa Phi house to an on-campus location next to the Purdue Bell Tower.
“With homecoming weekend it’s a great time now. We’ve got a lot of people walking by and seeing what we’re all about” McBride explained. Thousands of Purdue students, families, and staff had a chance to visit the event during the week and make contributions to the cause. “Moving it on campus this year was a big step and in the future, we’d like to get more people involved in the biking.”
The fraternity hosts multiple philanthropy events throughout the year. In the spring, they host War of Roses, a talent contest amongst the sororities, as another fundraising effort for The Ability Experience. Pi Kappa Phi is also involved in Journey of Hope, a national event where brothers each raise $5,500 throughout the year. The brothers then bike across the country in the summer. McBride will be leading the event next summer as project manager.
To learn more about The Ability Experience or Purdue’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter, visit abilityexperience.org and purduepikapps.com.