Bikes gathered on May 14, 2011 on Overton Road in Birmingham, Alabama at Mitchell’s Place, a comprehensive treatment center for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, for a benefit poker run to raise awareness and donations.
It is the mission of Mitchell’s Place to “provide caring, supportive, family-oriented services that are comprehensive and tailored to meet the individual and unique needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). At Mitchell’s Place, we strive to optimize the social and academic potential of children with ASD, and their typical peers, through a collaborative approach that utilizes current and proven treatment interventions. Early awareness and proper treatment is vital to a child’s success. To achieve these goals Mitchell’s Place offers a range of programs for children and young adults.”
They have early intervention programs, an early learning program for children ages 2 to 6 years, applied behavior analysis, a Teach Me Program for children from first signs to 6 years, programs for school age children, an after school social and academic enrichment program for ages 5 to 18 years, and a summer camp for ages 5 to 18 years. They have also added new programs, outpatient services not limited to autism spectrum disorders, and a summer preschool social group for ages 2 to 4 years.
This ride came together with the help of Robby Northcutt and Shellie Hyatt, and a slew of volunteers and the director from Mitchell’s Place. Shellie has a son who goes to Mitchell’s Place, and he and his dad rode in the poker run, which is saying a lot because the ride lasted ALL day! But I think he enjoyed it, even though it wore him out.
The ride left Mitchell’s Place and headed over to the Veteran’s Brotherhood clubhouse and hung out there for a while, long enough for the sheriff’s police escort of two, to be joined by Emery Hubbard and partner, who had been escorting an earlier ride.
From the Brotherhood, the ride headed out to Odenville to Dry Riders Saloon. By now, it was time for lunch! So this took a while.
After fueling up at Dry Rider’s, it was time to head over to the Thunder Inn, where every night is Bike Night. Owners, Monty and Freda were waiting for everyone with a nice cold one. Monty also provided us with some musical entertainment. It was supposed to be “Tres Homeboys,” but ended up with, “Dos Homeboys,” folks still loved them.
From there it was off to Buffalo Wild Wings in Trussville where volunteers and the band “Who Shot Lizzy” were waiting to keep the festivities rolling on.
Everyone in the ride got a shirt, and they had more shirts available for those who didn’t make the ride but were there to help in support.
Buffalo Wild Wings also offered a 20% discount to everyone on their food, which they turned around and donated back to Mitchell’s Place, pretty sweet!
They had goodies to raffle off and of course a winner to announce on the poker run. Mr. Sam Norris donated back the $100 that he won for having the best hand; how cool is that? I love it!
After the ride they figured that they had raised just under $2,000; not bad huh?
Since the sun was starting to set and this ride started before noon, it was getting close to time to wrap this party up, but before that, there was the matter of the bike show, which everyone totally forgot about. They were just having fun listening to the band, getting a bite to eat, and just generally hanging out. So they just decided to put everyone’s bike in the show and get the “Buffalo” girls from inside to come out and judge and award plaques to the winners.
Very nice job guys! And thanks to all the riders, the escorts, the stop locations, and of course, to Mitchell’s Place for being there!
Write-On and Ride-On
By Lynn Reynolds and