BOISE - Wind blowing "like crazy," with snow in their faces.
That's how the traditional Bike To Boise ride started for members of the University of Idaho Delta Sigma Phi chapter on Thursday morning, when they began their 300-mile journey from their home in Moscow to Boise. Members rode a tandem bike, two at a time, with others riding in cars when it wasn't their turn to pedal.
"After Lewiston, it was pretty good," said Michael Penn, vice president and philanthropy chairman for the fraternity.
Whatever the weather, the ride would go on, because it gave a boost to some kids who are in difficult situations -- situations that don't just go away once a cold front passes.
The Delta Sigs have done the Bike To Boise philanthropic ride for decades and, for the past few years, the beneficiary has been Hope House, a home for children located near Marsing. According to its mission statement, Hope House exists to provide a home for children ages 6 to 18 who have emotional issues, developmental disabilities and/or come from disrupted adoptions or dysfunctional families.
On Saturday, Hope House received a check for $3,210 from the Bike To Boise crew.
"It's a huge blessing," said Jess Bruce, a Hope House staff member. "It's definitely a huge help. It'll meet a lot of needs."
Bruce later said that the funds raised by the Delta Sigs are enough to buy a month's worth of groceries for all the children at Hope House. In past years, Bike To Boise has helped Hope House get a new playground and computer lab.
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"It's something really important to me," said Michael Bivens, the UI Delta Sigma Phi chapter president. "This was a great experience for all of us, as a fraternity, to come together and do something important for a really great organization."
"We really like what Hope House is doing," Penn said. "That's why for the last few years, all the money has been going to them."