Motorcyclists climb aboard to help children with autism
Published: June 19, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – About 400 motorcyclists are expected to participate in the third annual Jerry & Annie Charity Ride on Saturday (June 23) to raise funds for the Cornerstone Autism Foundation to purchase iPads for children with autism.
The riders will travel 88 miles around mid-north Indiana starting late morning at the Cornerstone Autism Center in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, located at 3482 McClure Ave., and end early evening at Eagle Harley-Davidson at 702 Navco Drive, Lafayette. The ride's route includes Pine Village on state Route 55, U.S. Route 41, state Route 28 to Williamsport and Attica, and back to Lafayette. The ride is sponsored by Mid-North Indiana Harley Owner Group Lafayette Chapter 1188 and Eagle Harley-Davidson.
"We have held charity rides since 1990 to raise money for various important causes such as MS, the Community Cancer Network or Wounded Warrior Project," said Kathe Bell, owner of Eagle Harley-Davidson. "When we heard about how an iPad can help a child with autism, we decided to donate this year's funds to this effort."
The iPads cost about $500 each.
"We've known for quite a few years that computers and other technologies can help children with autism communicate better, but an iPad helps many of them improve their communication skills in leaps and bounds," said David Ide, co-founder and CEO of Cornerstone Autism Center and Cornerstone Autism Foundation. "We already have iPads for children enrolled in our centers, and we plan to donate the iPads to the Bauer Family Resources in Lafayette and the Greater Lafayette Area Special Services to be given to children diagnosed with autism and who can benefit from using an iPad."
Natalee Mace, an Indianapolis mother whose 3-year-old son, Landon, and 4-year-old son, Noah, have both been diagnosed with autism, said using iPads has changed the way her sons communicate.
"I call them 'magical devices' because they enabled my 3-year-old nonverbal son to communicate with me for the first time," said Mace, who is working as a marketing and fundraising consultant for Cornerstone Autism Foundation. "When I put an iPad in front of Landon, he used his index finger to move objects on the screen and was matching letters to spell words. It was amazing. It had unlocked his brain and allowed me to enter his world for a few minutes. I want to get iPads in the hands of other children with special needs because I can see how much it helps. The Harley ride is a wonderful program that will help many children and their families."
The Cornerstone Autism Foundation provides funding for programs and events that serve and benefit children living with an autism spectrum disorder. According to the foundation, autism is the fastest-growing disability in the United States, where about one in 88 people are diagnosed with autism.
For more information on the ride, contact Kathe Bell at 765-488-9132, email@example.com
Sources: Kathe Bell, 765-488-9132, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Ide, 317-888-1557, email@example.com
Media contacts: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalee Mace, 317-413-1763, email@example.com