November 28, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

9th Annual “ADMH Harley Ride” to Make Christmas Special for Youth at ADMH’s Psychiatric Adolescent Unit at UAB

MONTGOMERY – For the ninth year in a row, members of the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group-Pelham Chapter are gearing up to make Christmas a little brighter for teens and children committed to the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Psychiatric Adolescent Unit at UAB. On Saturday, December 1, a large caravan of Harley-Davidson motorcyclists will leave the Pelham dealership at 10:30 a.m. They will arrive at the ADMH unit at UAB around 11 a.m. to visit and distribute gifts they have collected and wrapped. The unit is currently full with 10 residents.

The Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group has again chosen the “ADMH Harley Ride” as one of their primary charity rides of the year. Chris Ruff, director of the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group said, "Our chapter holds benefit rides for two local groups. Members gladly donate gifts and supplies to bring Christmas to the youth at UAB. We also enjoy spending time talking with them. They look excited when we pull up, and they hear that unmistakable Harley rumble.” The ride is a partnership between The Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, JBS Mental Health in Birmingham, the Heart of Dixie Harley Owners Group and UAB.

Gayla Caddell, child and adolescent resource specialist with ADMH, said, “It is truly inspirational to witness the generosity of the Harley group each year, not just through their gift donations, but also their willingness to give their time to provide a special experience for the teens and children hospitalized on the unit. It is heartbreaking to think there are youth with mental illnesses who cannot be at home with family and friends during the holidays. The Harley group takes the time to visit with them and show them they are special and cared about by others in the community. Words will never be able to express how important this annual tradition has become to these youth.”


Press Information:
  • Contact for the day of the ride will be: Gayla Caddell, 334-324-1557
  • Location is 1713 6th Avenue South, Birmingham 35294
  • Press will be allowed to accompany the riders and staff to the administrative office only
  • Check in at the info desk in the lobby and say you are there for the 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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