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
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
"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