BROWNSBURG — The SCI Hope Ride and Community Festival is returning to town Sept. 22 to help people dealing with spinal cord injuries.
The motorcycle ride starts at Brownsburg West Middle School. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with a scenic trip through rural Hendricks County starting at 11:15 a.m.
The ensuing festival will run until 6 p.m. and features vendors, food, and games. There are also unique events planned.
“There will be a slow drag, where the winner is the last one to cross the finish line, so the goal is to go as slow as possible,” said Steve Pyatte, brother of Skip Tennancour who is one of the four founders of the SCI Hope Fund. “There’s also a bicycle rodeo event, so kids can bring a bike and a helmet and they can ride in the bicycle rodeo, weaving in and out of cones. Then we have other games, like a newspaper throw.”
The paper throw will simulate being a paper boy. There will also be a bounce house and face painting for children.
“It’s a community event,” Pyatte said. “Come out and help raise awareness for the SCI Hope Fund to benefit those who have spinal cord injuries and help them live an independent life. They could need a wheelchair, could be something as simple as being able to play a sport. We bought a wheelchair for one young man who was a paraplegic who can now play rugby again.”
The cost for the event is a minimum $10 donation to ride and $5 to get into the motorcycle show. To attend the festival, there is also a minimum $10 donation, but children younger than 15 who are accompanied by a paying parent or guardian will be admitted free.
The ride will have a police escort
There is also an SCI Hope Fund golf outing at noon Sept. 21. Those who participate in the golf outing will get a wrist band and can attend the festival free of charge.
The SCI Hope Fund came about when John Wassen was paralyzed from the shoulders down. John and his wife Tamie, along with family friends Jim and Skip Tennancour, were so inspired by the outpouring of financial support from the community that they decided to start the Spinal Cord Injury Hope Fund to help others who were facing the same predicament.
“John was fully dependent on 24-hour care,” Pyatte said. “Once they got back on their feet, he wanted to give back and saw what people with spinal cord injuries needed. He wanted to help them and since then, they’ve given grants totaling about $300,000. You can see what their money has done, who they’ve benefited, and see stories and photos with the people who’ve benefited from the grants.”
Those who request assistance from the SCI Hope Fund can apply for a grant, no matter where they’re from. Applicants must be a former or current patient with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis.
“Doing the festival at the school, we get a lot of community involvement, local vendors, but this isn’t just a local organization,” Pyatte said. “Anyone can apply for a grant. The Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis, they’re the ones that screen participants and grant recipients and then the SCI Hope board goes through and looks at each one of the requests and sees what these people are in need of.”
For more information about the organization or the festival, visit the group’s website at scihope.com or contact Pyatte by calling 289-3242 or by e-mailing to email@example.com.
Just the facts
WHAT: SCI Hope Fund Ride and Festival
WHEN: 11:15 a.m. Sept. 22
WHERE: Brownsburg West Middle School