Theta at Cincinnati represented in GUF

Tony Igel, Zach Wiles, Kendall Koutz, and Patrick Looney

One month after his graduation Tony Igel will partake in a 4,000-mile, two-month bike ride from the pacific coast to Washington D.C. called Journey of Hope. In addition to cycling, Tony and the other participants visit camps for people with disabilities to socialize with the members. When asked why he wants to do Journey of Hope, Tony said that he wants to follow the legacy of his brother, Eric, who completed the Journey in 2009. He also said, “I want to spread a message of empathy, not sympathy. All too often people with disabilities are characterized by those disabilities, rather than their abilities, when the truth is they’re just like me and you, they’re just different.”

Kendall Koutz, Zach Wiles, and Patrick Looney will be participating in Push America’s other cycling event, Gear Up Florida, a two-and-a-half-week, 865-mile bike ride across the sunshine state from Miami to Tallahassee. This trip also includes fundraising and friendship visits.

Wiles and Koutz will be cycling, while Looney supports them as a crew member. Crew supports the riders in their everyday needs, as well as specialized jobs for the whole group.

Looney will be the historian of the group, meaning he will take pictures and keep record of all events throughout the journey.

Zach Wiles is a veteran of summer push events. In 2011 he did Build America, an event similar to Journey of Hope, but instead of cycling, the participants directly use some of the money they fundraised by building structures that improve the accessibility of the camps they go to. When asked why he is doing Gear Up Florida, Wiles said, “Last year I did not get to do a summer of service, and I wasn’t happy because of that. When I did Build America, I realized how much of an impact one person could make on another’s life. I want to do that again.”

Thankfully, we have four brothers representing Theta chapter and four times the impact we can make on the lives of others.