(JAMESTOWN, NY) — The second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo is set to kick off August 27, 2016. This year there will again be two course options that will carry cyclists around Chautauqua Lake and return them to Webb’s Captains Table in Mayville, NY where the party will continue. With hopes of attracting more riders from surrounding areas, there will be a special young man in attendance who will have completed a personal milestone just weeks before.
Rob Newell, a Southwestern Central School graduate and current biotechnology student of Rochester Institute of Technology, will be making the 4,000 mile trek across the country to raise awareness and fundraise for the “Journey of Hope.”


The Ability Experience first started in 1977 as a national philanthropy for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternities. Today, it has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that “educates undergraduates, alumni and communities about the abilities of people with disabilities.” With a goal of $7,000 necessary to participate in the trip, CREDC, Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation, has donated $2,000 to Rob and his cause. Over the years, the Pi Kappa Phis have raised more than $500,000 to benefit programs for people with disabilities.


Rob will be starting his endeavor June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington and will arrive at Washington D.C on August 13, 2016 as the trip comes to a close. From there, he will travel back home in time to participate in the second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo on August 27, 2016. What may seem like a mere 42-mile loop around Chautauqua Lake after riding 4,000 miles, Rob is setting an example for every young adult in the future to strive for experience in life and make a difference in the lives of others.


The Ability Experience is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization that educates communities about the abilities of people with disabilities.

Jason Bussman