CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A nine-week, 4,000-mile cross-country journey will bring a group of cyclists through Charleston on Thursday.
The team of cyclists is made up of members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity from chapters across the country who are riding to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.
Their journey will include a visit to Charleston's Children's Therapy Clinic, where the cyclists will have lunch and spend time with patients before pedaling off to Beckley.
The cross-continental trek is one leg of the 26th "Journey of Hope," an annual event organized by Push America, Pi Kappa Phi's national philanthropic organization.
During the "Journey of Hope," three sets of bikers head out across the county via different routes. Teams travel through 32 states covering over 12,000 combined miles with an average 75 miles per day.
The team visiting Charleston, known as the TransAmerica team, began their leg of the ride in Seattle June 1.
On Aug. 10, the three routes will converge in Washington, D.C. The riders will meet up on the west front lawn of Capitol for a brief closing program.
Through the combined fundraising efforts of the riders, the event is expected to raise more than $500,000 this year.
Each rider is required to raise a minimum of $5,500 through contributions and personal sponsorships. Sponsorships are secured from family and friends, civic clubs, local businesses, sororities, churches and fundraising events.
Money raised is donated in the form of grants to numerous organizations and facilities with programming geared to help those with disabilities.