The Ability Experience benefits from Omega’s cycling event

The Omega (Purdue) Chapter held its Fifth Annual 72-Hour David R. Feltner Memorial Bike A Thon from Nov. 4 to 7 in the heart of campus. Consequently, the chapter raised nearly $4,000 for The Ability Experience . Furthermore, fraternity members solicited more than 1,500 signatures on a poster promoting “Spread the Word to End the Word.” That campaign asks signers to commit to not using the “R” word to describe people with disabilities.

The continuous stationary cycling event coincides with homecoming each year on campus. For the first time the event was held adjacent to Purdue’s belltower in the middle of campus. The bike a thon is named in memory of a chapter member who was committed to serving those with disabilities as an undergraduate, Feltner. He died in 2011 due to a rare form of a childhood soft-tissue cancer. Feltner’s parents have ridden the final five minutes of the 72-hour event each time. This year, Feltner’s sister joined her parents for the final five minutes with her three young children standing alongside her.

More than 100 riders, which included alumni and acquaintances of the chapter members, took part in the Wednesday through Saturday event. On Thursday, seven campus sororities took part in a timed 15-minute stationary bike distance race. The winning sorority rode 5.46 miles, while the runners-up rode 5.28 miles.

“While we raised more money this year than in previous years, what is most important to me is the impact that we had on our campus,” said Mark Fisher, chapter Ability Experience chairman. “1,500 plus signatures is tangible proof of the awareness that we are spreading Ð something that has not been done in the past to this extent.

“Interacting with students and others who passed by was easily my favorite part of bike a thon this year.” In the first hour of the event on Wednesday, Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell rode along two chapter members. Then, as the belltower struck 5 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 7, nearly 100 chapter members and friends surrounded the three Feltner family members to celebrate the chapter’s largest ever bike a thon.

For more information about the bike a thon Ð including photos from throughout the three-day event, visit: