Autism awareness ride kicks off eighth year
by Jennifer Cohron
Apr 02, 2012 | 1764 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first Saturday in April means it is time for the 2012 Walker County Autism Awareness Motorcycle Ride. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
The first Saturday in April means it is time for the 2012 Walker County Autism Awareness Motorcycle Ride. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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The arrival of the first Saturday in April means it is time for the 2012 Walker County Autism Awareness Motorcycle Ride.

“It started with six bikes and has gotten bigger every year,” said Larry Cabaniss, event organizer and parent of an autistic son.

Registration for the eighth annual bike ride will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Parkland Shopping Center in Jasper.

This year’s route will lead through part of Cullman County that includes Clarkson Covered Bridge and then end at Curry Church of God.

Bike awards and other prizes will be given out. Food will also be served.

The ride is expected to last approximately two hours.

Donations will be accepted instead of entry fees. Proceeds benefit Community Options in Jasper.

Executive director Jimmy Gunter noted that the ride will occur a little over a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the rate of autism in the United States is now one in 88 children.

A similar report from the CDC in 2002 found that about one in 156 children were affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Gunter said last year’s autism ride included more than 125 motorcycles from several states and raised nearly $5,000 for Community Options, which provides autism services to local residents.

This year, Modern Woodmen of America has agreed to match dollar for dollar the first $2,500 that is raised.

“We just want people to come out to participate and give whatever they can. We know times are hard and people can’t give a lot, but we’re happy with whatever we can get,” Gunter said.