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WKU students to ride cross country in Bike4Alz project

For the fourth time since 2010, a group of WKU fraternity members will be making a cross country bike ride to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research.

Members of WKU's Fiji fraternity will begin the 2016 Bike4Alz ride this month in Seattle. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

Members of WKU’s Fiji fraternity will begin their 3,600-mile cross country Bike4Alz ride May 21 in Seattle. The group will include 12 riders and two support drivers. They plan to complete the 2016 ride in late July in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (WKU photos by Bryan Lemon)

The 2016 Bike4Alz team of 12 riders and two support drivers will be traveling about 3,600 miles from Seattle, Washington, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. After a farewell event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 15 at Spencer’s Coffee in downtown Bowling Green, the group will leave and drive to Seattle. (Spencer’s will be donating 15 percent of sales that night to Bike4Alz.) The ride will begin on May 21 with a target completion date of July 23. (Update: Group to ride into Bowling Green on July 6.)

“It’s going to be pretty exciting,” said Joey Badinger, an Exercise Science major from Oldham County. “Our route is going to be longer than any of the other rides.”

The riders are members of Phi Gamma Delta (or Fiji) fraternity and have set a fund-raising goal of $100,000 for this year’s ride.

“It’s going strictly to Alzheimer’s research,” Badinger said. “We just want to get a cure.”

The Bike4Alz project began in 2010 after one of the rider’s grandparents died of Alzheimer’s. Several of this year’s Fiji team members have grandparents or other family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“My grandmother has Alzheimer’s and I wanted to do something to help her and others,” said Josh Hicks, a Mechanical Engineering major from Owensboro.

Trent Erps, a Finance major from Louisville, is riding for his grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007. “It’s really hard to see someone you love so much suffer from Alzheimer’s. She’s always been there for us and always cared for us,” he said. “For me, this ride is for her and for all the families that go through this.”

To raise awareness, the group has organized events in communities along the route and plans to be in Bowling Green on July 7-8.

“We want people to realize how serious Alzheimer’s is and how many people are affected,” Badinger said.

Other members of the Bike4Alz team include Taylor Leigh, a Mechanical Engineering major from Casey County; Carson Ball, a Finance major from Nicholasville; Alec Brown, a Mathematics and Economics major from Brownsburg, Indiana; Justin Hobbs, a Meteorology major from Irvington; Davis Church, a Marketing major from Louisville; Skyler Wright, a Mechanical Engineering major from Casey County; Noah Edmonson, a Leadership major from Bowling Green; Daniel Aroh, a Finance major from Louisville; Grant Rohleder, an Accounting major from Louisville; and Jacob Tipton, a Mathematics major from Spencer County.

Bike4Alz is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. To make a donation or to find out more about the riders and events along the route, visit the group’s website at www.bike4alz.org or follow Bike4Alz on Twitter.

More: View from the Hill.

Contact: Joey Badinger, (502) 510-9008 or joseph.badinger943@topper.wku.edu

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