On Sunday, May 13, a group of fraternity men consisting of 22 cyclists and seven crew members will depart Miami to begin Gear Up Florida, the 850-mile annual ride across Florida to support people with disabilities. During the two-week event organized by The Ability Experience, the men will average 75 miles per day as they journey from Miami to Tallahassee, raising funds and awareness as they go.
The team is made up of men from across the U.S. who are members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and have each raised at least $2,500. Together with corporate sponsors, the team has raised over $73,000 this year; over its 40-year history, The Ability Experience has raised over $15 million in support of people with disabilities.
Just finishing training in Miami, they will soon visit 10 cities throughout the state. At each stop, the team has “friendship visits” at local community centers and organizations, giving them a chance to interact, learn and begin friendships with the very people they are riding to support. These visits, including activities like basketball games and dancing, are regarded as some of the most impactful moments on the trip.
The mission of The Ability Experience is to use shared experiences to support people with disabilities and develop the men of Pi Kappa Phi into servant leaders. The Ability Experience organizes Gear Up Florida and two other large service projects each summer. Now in its 41st year of impact, The Ability Experience has to-date raised over $15 million and is proud to serve as a leader in the support of people with disabilities. It is the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi which founded the organization in 1977 and is committed to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.