Journey of Hope riders make their way to Grand Island
On Monday, members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity cycled their way into Grand Island for the Journey of Hope tour, also known as JOH.
JOH is an annual bicycle ride across the United States, that helps raise money for the Ability Experience.
Riders have made an annual stop in Grand Island for over 25 years, and for the past six, The ARC of Central Nebraska has been their place to stay overnight.
One rider, KJ Peterman, told NTV News just what Journey of Hope is really about.
"What we do is we cycle across the country, averaging about 70 miles a day a we do it to raise money and awareness for people with mental and physical disabilities and we want to celebrate the abilities of all people across the spectrum,” said Peterman.
Peterman said this journey does not just give the riders a chance to see the states, but a chance to give back.
Peterman said the Ability Experience's national goal is $1,000,000, which would go back into many of the communities they visit on their ride.
"We'll stipend that money and give out grants to other organizations, such as the one here, the ARC of Central Nebraska. What we'll do is give a grant and they can do with that money whatever they want to,” said Peterman.
Some of these riders spend every summer riding across the U-S for the Journey of Hope.
For KJ Peterman, this is his first summer and after just being four weeks in, he said he will continue giving to the Ability Experience and cycle in the future.
"To be able to have a shared experience with somebody with a mental or physical disability, anybody across the spectrum, is really heartwarming, it's opened my eyes. My brothers of pi kappa phi from all over the country have had similar experiences and it's changed us for the better,” said Peterman.
If you want to come out and meet the riders, or some of who they ride for, you can catch them in Grand Island on Tuesday at Ashley park at 11:30 am, or at Stolley Park at 6pm for community picnics.