Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

5th Annual Joshua Berry Ride for the Burkett Center - Morris, Alabama

Written by  November 29, 2014

About 100 bikes gathered at Rider’s Harley-Davidson on Saturday, September 20 for the 5th Annual Ride for the Burkett Center in Morris, Alabama. This wonderful event is sponsored by the Burkett Center P.T.A and assisted by the C.H.R.O.M.E Cross Cruisers.

The Burkett Center accepts kids ages 2-21, from all around the Jefferson County School zone. The school was started back in 1977, and was called the Springdale Multi Handicap Program. On June 16, 1988 it was dedicated in the name of William E. Burkett, and about 3 years ago the Center moved into the old Mortimer Jordan High School, giving them plenty of room to “spread their wings.”

The Burkett Center currently has approximately 92 enrolled in 11 classrooms, with 4 separate pre-school classrooms. According to the school system, they teach in the same manner as the other public schools; however, these teachers go above and beyond because these kids are in need of “basic-needs” learning and need to be handled with a great deal of compassion.

It was a beautiful day for a ride on the winding roads through the country, past the horses and lakes, which was really nice! So needless to say, our three county bikes escorting the ride took us by way of the scenic route over to the center.

The ride was met by a few of the kids and their parents, along with the principle Dan Roth, who were excitedly waiting to see all the bikes as they came rolling in.The first people we met were Mr. Austyn Reaves and his grandparents, who we were told are very involved in the school. Just the nicest people you would ever meet, the young man had a smile on his face the whole day, along with his grandparents who were right there by his side.

Lisa, Becky, and their staff of volunteers were ready to give away two 8’ long tables of donated goodies, and Lisa’s husband was ready to feed the hungry crowd. Jeff Dennis Jewelers in Gardendale, Alabama generously donated a $500 gift card to raffle off. While several of the prizewinners had purchased several tickets, the lucky winner of the $500 gift certificate purchased only one.

Principle Dan was kind enough to take us on a brief tour of the school, and we were very impressed. You could see the pride he has for his school, as he took us around, and rightfully so. They have several nice large classrooms with some pretty cool stuff in there for the kids to work with.Some new stuff and some old stuff they have to make do with, which is why this event is so important to them, because they get to buy some much needed new equipment. This year they raised close to $3,500, and next year I hope they double that and continue to double it every year after that.