Pi Kappa Phi owns and operates a national philanthropy called The Ability Experience (formally known as Push America). The Ability Experience is a non-profit organization that was founded by members of Pi Kappa Phi in 1977. It is the exclusive service learning project of the fraternity, aiming to serve people with disabilities and instill lifelong service in all members of Pi Kappa Phi. Initially begun as a project to build therapeutic play units for children with disabilities, the organization has become synonymous with fundraising, service and awareness for people with any type or degree of disability.
Since its conception, the Ability Experience has grown to include a number of different events across the nation. These include the Journey of Hope – a cross country bike ride, and Build America – a program aimed at building facilities for people with physical disabilities. Through these events as well as the work of individual chapters, The Ability Experience has raised over 8 million dollars in support of people with disabilities.
Omega chapter is proud of our great involvement in the Ability Experience. Throughout the Year we host a number of events aimed at helping people with disabilities. These events include Arctoberfest, David Feltner Bike-a-Thon, War of Roses, Lafayette Jefferson High School special needs classes visitation, Second Chance Pi Kapp/Best Buddy prom, Pi Kapp 100 and Journey of Hope.
Arctoberfest is an annual Halloween costume
party held for the local Arc of Tippecanoe, an organization that helps people over the age of 18 with mental disabilities. The event is includes games, snacks and costume competitions.
The annual David R. Feltner Memorial Bike-A-Thon is a 72-hour event held each Homecoming week in memory of David Feltner (1988-2011). The original Bike-A-Thon was held to raise enough money to purchase a seeing eye dog
whose cancer had led to a loss of vision. David rode last five minutes of the inaugural event in April 2011. Tragically, David shortly after the first event. Since that time, his parents ride the last five minutes of the memorial bike-a-thon leading up to Purdue homecoming weekend.
Many sororities on campus also participate in Bike-A-Thon every year, as the event kicks off with a race to see which sorority can pedal the farthest in a set amount of time. The event raises $3,00 each year for The Ability Experience and boasts nearly 200 participants.
War of Roses
The annual War of Roses events include empathy training, disabilities races and the capstone event, a talent show in Purdue’s Loeb Playhouse. Most of the Purdue sororities participate alongside chapter members each spring.
Pi Kappa Phi-Omega maintains and active relationship with the special needs classrooms of Lafayette Jefferson High School. The chapter sends brothers every day to these classrooms to play games and help tutor local kids with mental disabilities.
Second Chance Pi Kapp/Best Buddies Prom
Chapter members team up with Best Buddies-Purdue to host special needs adults who did not get the opportunity to attend a high school prom.
Pi Kapp 100
Established in 1999, each spring chapter members ride 100 kilometers from Zionsville to the Purdue campus raising funds and awareness for people with disabilities. More than two dozen riders participate each year. Riders have included alumni and one mom thus far. Each rider and crew member commit to raising a certain amount of money for the chapter’s annual Ability Experience fund-raising.
Journey of Hope
The Journey of Hope is a cross country bike ride to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities. JOH is undertaken by Pi Kapps from chapters across the nation, with Omega as one of the leading participants. In 2016, 12 brothers undertook the ride. In 2017, another 11 will ride bringing the total to 66 who have participated in the ride since 1991.