VICKSBURG, Miss. (Vicksburg Daily News) – Journey of Hope cyclists who are traveling 12,000 miles for charity are due to enter Vicksburg from Louisiana around 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Durward Owen who served as the executive director of Pi Kappa Phi founded the Journey of Hope – The Ability Experience in 1976. A meeting was called between the leaders to put forth an effort to mobilize the undergraduate member workforce.
Owen met with Thomas Sayre who designed a therapeutic play unit for youth with extensive disabilities. Their collaboration led to The Ability Experience thriving and developing into a staple for Pi Kappa Phi.
Each year, hundreds take on a cross-country journey in order to spread disability awareness and celebrate the abilities of all people. Three routes are taken, starting on the west coast, and cyclists spend the summer making the 12,000-mile cross-country journey, ending in Capital Lawn in Washington D.C.
Participants make stops along the way to spread their message and assist where needed. In Vicksburg, cyclists are being greeted by Shirley Reed, on behalf of the non-profit organization LIFE of Mississippi. The group will help with an event at the reservoir Saturday to celebrate 31 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act.