December 8, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

8th Annual “ADMH Harley Ride” to Make Christmas Special for Adolescents at ADMH’s Psychiatric Adolescent Unit at UAB

MONTGOMERY – With the image of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders the company has created over the years, some may find it hard to believe these tough bikers have a soft side. But for the eighth year in a row, members of the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group are gearing up to make Christmas a little brighter for adolescents admitted to the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Adolescent Unit at UAB. On Saturday, December 10, 2011, a large caravan of Harley-Davidson motorcyclists will leave the Heart of Dixie Harley Dealership at 10:30 a.m. They will arrive at the ADMH Adolescent Unit at UAB around 11 a.m. to visit with the residents and bring them gifts they have collected and wrapped. The unit currently houses 10 adolescents.

The Heart 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, “This has become a noteworthy ride for us that we look forward to every year. We want them to know 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.” Along with ADMH’s Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services and The Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group, partners in the ride also include JBS Mental Health in Birmingham and UAB.

Kim Hammack, director of mental illness community programs at ADMH, 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 illnesses who cannot be at home during the holidays. This selfless giving lets them know they are special, wanted and cared for. Before this annual ride started, Christmas was just another day for them, but now it ensures their Christmas will also be special.”

Press Information:
  • Contact for the day of the ride will be: Kim Hammack, 334-595-2703
  • Location is 1713 6th Avenue South: Birmingham, AL 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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