December 9, 2010

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of


MONTGOMERY – For the seventh year in a row, members of the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group – Pelham Chapter will make Christmas a little brighter for adolescents committed to the Alabama Department of Mental Health. In the past, this event occurred at the Bryce Adolescent Unit in Tuscaloosa. However, operations of this ADMH Psychiatric Adolescent Unit are now occurring at an ADMH unit at UAB in Birmingham. Even though their placement location has changed, the situation has not. There are more than ten youth who may be at the ADMH Unit at UAB on Christmas day and throughout the Christmas holidays.

On Saturday, December 11, 2010, a large caravan of Harley-Davidson motorcyclists will leave the Heart of Dixie Harley Dealership at 10:45 a.m. and will arrive at the ADMH Psychiatric Adolescent Unit at UAB around 11:30 a.m. to visit with the residents and bring them gifts they have collected and wrapped. In order to make this a warm Christmas for some of the most seriously ill youth in Alabama, the ride is a partnership between The Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Division of Mental Illness Services, JBS Mental Health in Birmingham, the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group and UAB.

The Harley of Dixie Owners Group has again chosen the “ADMH Harley Ride” as one of their primary charity rides of the year. Carolyn Ratliff, a member of the group, states exactly why this ride is so important saying, “This has become a noteworthy ride for us and we look forward to doing this every year. We want these children to feel wanted during the holidays. Every child should get that special feeling from that moment of getting gifts on Christmas morning. We want them to know that there are people who care about them and want their Christmas day to be important and not forgotten. For us, it is all about the kids.”

Kim Hammack, Coordinator of Child and Adolescent Services at ADMH, and coordinator of the event said, “Words will never be able to express how important this annual tradition has become to these adolescents. We all get busy in the season by preparing for our own kids and our special Christmas day. It is heartbreaking to think there are kids with mental illness who can not be at home during the holidays. This giving selflessly lets them know they are special, wanted and cared for. Before this annual “ADMH Harley Ride” started, Christmas was just another day for them. This event assures that their Christmas will be special too.”

Press Information:
  • Contact for the day of the ride will be: Kim Hammack, 334-595-2703
  • Location is 1713 6th Avenue South: Birmingham, Alabama 35294
  • Press will be allowed to accompany the riders and staff to the administrative office only.
  • Please check in at the information desk located in the main lobby and tell receptionist you are there for the ADMH Harley Ride presentation.
  • Cameras may be used in front of the hospital as the riders approach the facility.
  • Bikers and gifts may be photographed.

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