Friday February 18, 2011
Thanks to the newly-formed Greater Louisville AMBUCS chapter, 20 local children and young adults with disabilities will receive specially-adapted bikes that will allow them to cruise for the first time tomorrow at the Douglass Community Center.
Douglass, located at 2305 Douglass Boulevard in the Highlands, is the home to Metro Parks’ Adapted Leisure Activities (ALA). Adapted Leisure Activities offers a wide range of recreational activities for individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities, along with their friends and families.
AMBUCS is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide independence, mobility and fitness to individuals with disabilities.
“The delight of receiving a bike is something every child should experience, regardless of physical ability,” Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz said. “It’s wonderful that there is an organization like AMBUCS that has accepted this as a mission, and the whole community benefits as a result of their generosity.”
In May, the national AMBUCS organization came to Louisville to provide training to physical therapists on how to fit clients for AmTrykes, the specially-adapted vehicles that will be donated at Douglass. As part of that training, a group fit 20 children and young adults for AmTrykes. The event inspired therapists, parents and community representatives to start a local AMBUCS chapter, which was officially chartered on July 30, 2010.
The chapter embarked on a fund-raising drive to provide trykes to those on an initial wish list, and funds for ten bikes were raised through several local partnerships. As an added bonus, the national AMBUCS organization is donating an additional ten trykes so everyone on that wish list will receive one tomorrow.
The “Bike Day Celebration” will last from 2-4 p.m., with a formal presentation of the bikes to occur at 2:30 p.m. Sponsors for the event and bikes include J.J.B Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC; Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Department for Jefferson County Public Schools; Owsley Brown Frazier Sports Medicine Center; Baptist Hospital East Physical Therapy Department; University Hospital Rehab Department; Chatter Box Therapeutic Services; Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation; Kohl’s; the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky, Frazier Rehab Institute, Nord’s Bakery, Metro Parks and Recreation Adapted Leisure Activities and Kroger on Brownsboro Road.
“These children and young adults endure great personal challenges daily, but have shown tremendous excitement about the possibility of riding a bike for the first time in their lives,” said Donna Metzger, President of Greater Louisville AMBUCS. “The joy these children will experience when they receive their trykes and ride for the first time is going to be something special to see.”
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