Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” blasted over the West Lawn of the Capitol Building as the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity completed their 4,000 mile bike trip across America on Sunday.
About 100 fraternity members, including four from GW, pedaled through a cheering crowd to finish the 25th annual Journey of Hope organized by the nonprofit Push America.
The group, which included members of GW’s Theta Zeta chapter Sloan Dickey, Nicholas Ducey, Ravi Durga and Jacob Sutherland, biked from the West Coast to D.C. to raise funds for people with disabilities.
“I have never been so proud of my country, fraternity and you,” Chad Coltrane, chief executive officer of Push America and Pi Kappa Phi alumnus.
This year, the brothers raised about $800,000, about $230,000 more than last year’s group.
Since the trip kicked off at the end of May, the brothers have rode about 75 miles a day, stopping along the way to spend time with disabled people.
During one stop, Sutherland visited a nonprofit called Rainbows United, where the children and cyclists sang to each other.
Ducey played wheelchair softball and hockey with people with physical and mental disabilities – often times losing, he joked.He said the experience helped him better connect to people with disabilities.
“If you’re able to break down that wall and find a way to communicate with the person, than it will really open your eyes to some incredible people,” Ducey said.
To make the trip, Ducey struck a compromise with his parents who wanted him to spend the summer bulking up his bank account. Instead of studying abroad last spring, he chose to ride the Journey of Hope.
“I definitely made the right choice,” Ducey said.
This post was updated on August 5, 2012 at 6:05 p.m. to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly referred to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity as Pi Kappa Alpha. We regret this error.