Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc. is excited to announce the return of Gear Up Florida, a remarkable 950-mile cycling event aimed at promoting acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities. Since 1997, over 500 men from Pi Kappa Phi have participated in the event, transforming lives and making a difference in communities across Florida. The philanthropic arm of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, The Ability Experience, organizes Gear Up Florida to provide participants with a unique, life-changing experience while making a positive impact on individuals with disabilities.
The 14-day journey will commence on May 13, 2023, at the shores of Miami and culminate at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. Along the way, the team will travel through picturesque Florida orange fields, the stunning Gulf Coast, vibrant Orlando, and exciting Jacksonville. The team will also engage in friendship visits with local groups that support people with disabilities, spreading their message of acceptance and understanding across the state.
During the friendship visit to Jacksonville, members of Club Challenge and the Adult Day Training program will share lunch with the Gear Up Florida participants. The team will also enjoy some fun in the sun with yard games at Camp Chowenwaw Park. Furthermore, the program will include a visit to the Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation program, where individuals who want to test their skills at wheelchair basketball will get to compete with some of the country’s top adaptive athletes.
“Gear Up Florida is more than just a cycling event; it’s an opportunity to make a positive difference in communities across the state,” said Andrew Matznick, Assistant Executive Director of Programs for The Ability Experience. “Our team is committed to spreading a message of acceptance and understanding on behalf of people with disabilities, and we are proud to continue this important tradition.”
Basil Lyberg, the President and Executive Director of The Ability Experience, added, “Through Gear Up Florida, our team will interact with communities across Florida and promote the abilities of ALL people. We are excited to continue this tradition and reconnect with so many of our friends with disabilities across the state.”
Gear Up Florida is a unique program that draws the attention of local media in markets across the county, providing a platform to spread awareness and inclusion everywhere they go. The team also provides additional support to organizations through grants each year.
McGriff Insurance, a leading provider of insurance solutions, has stepped forward as a primary sponsor for the Gear Up Florida Friendship Visit at Challenge Enterprises. Their dedication to the community and their belief in the importance of supporting local initiatives have made them an ideal partner for our event. With their support, we have been able to create an unforgettable experience for our attendees.
Rolling Stoves, a renowned catering service, has graciously provided its expertise and services to ensure that our guests enjoy a casual culinary experience. The exceptional quality of their food and their attention to detail will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on everyone present.
Through the generous contributions of McGriff Insurance and Rolling Stoves, our Gear Up Florida event will be able to create a memorable event bringing our community together by fostering connections and leaving a positive impact on all participants.
For more information about Gear Up Florida and how you can get involved, please visit www.gearupflorida.org.