Purdue kicks off 72-hour Bike-a-thon

More than 200 riders Ð including university and city administrators Ð are expected to don one of three stationary bikes at the fraternity house by the 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24 conclusion. The cycling event named in honor of chapter brother Feltner who died in 2011 from cancer benefits The Ability Experience. Feltner was one of the original chapter members who helped established a volunteer relationship with special needs classes at a local high school. He worked diligently for the disabled including those undergoing chemotherapy alongside him from 2007 to 2011.

Seven sororities Ð with up to as many as five riders alternating Ð participated in 15-minute distance competition on stationary bikes.

Riders will include members of the special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School, their parents and/or teachers. The fraternity volunteers each day in the classes throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Chapter alumni will also ride in the event as it runs through homecoming weekend at Purdue.

The chapter’s original bike-a-thon was to raise money for a special needs dog for Feltner in March 2011. Due to various surgeries along with many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Feltner lost the sense of balance, smell and to a certain extent sight. The chapter raised $12,000 toward a special needs dog to assist him with everyday tasks. However, Feltner died in June 2011. Then starting in the fall 2011, the chapter started the memorial bike-a-thon that now benefits The Ability Experience.

Updates each day during the 72-hours can be read at purduepikapps.com.

Photos from the Sept. 22 kickoff and bicycling can be found here