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SFSU Online Magazine Fall/Winter 2003

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Joe Goyhenetche riding his bike.

No Average Joe
In May Joe Goyhenetche (B.A., '03) and his fraternity brothers biked 3,950 miles across the United States, stopping at more than 100 cities to make "friendship visits" at facilities serving people with disabilities.

The team averaged 70 miles a day for the Journey of Hope, an annual bike ride sponsored by Push America, Pi Kappa Phi's national philanthropic organization.

The 70-member team took part in dances and other social events. They played wheelchair basketball and, Goyhenetche admits, were defeated on many occasions.

The fraternity brothers represented more than 30 colleges and universities nationwide. SFSU's rep was a standout.

"Joe was the first one to jump in and immediately make the people we visited feel special," says Basil Lyberg, Push America's director of cycling events.

The team put on puppet shows at schools across the country to teach children that disabilities don't have to get in the way of friendships.

"It's great to catch kids at an early age when you can really have an impact," Goyhenetche says.

The ride raised $405,795 for Push America's projects, including the construction of wheelchair ramps in private homes, wheelchair-accessible paths through wooded hiking areas, and piers where wheelchair riders can spend time fishing.

"We're always trying to break through that stereotype that fraternities are all about drinking and partying," Goyhenetche says.

Goyhenetche received Push America's award for top fundraiser. Raising $9,200, he also received the Bruce Rogers Award -- named for the fraternity brother who began the Journey of Hope 15 years ago -- presented to the team member who best exemplifies Push America's ideals of service.

-- Adrianne Bee

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