Owens House seeks sponsors for Blue Ribbon Ride
By LINDA LONG/For the Reporter
The statistics are chilling.
“One in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18,” said Cindy Greer, executive director of Owens House, the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center. “We see it from one end of the county to the other. Some may think it happens only in lower socio-economic areas, but that’s not the case it is really in every community.”
That’s why Greer is calling on all corporate executives to get involved in this year’s 14th annual Blue Ribbon Ride fundraiser, which will be held in May.
“We really need to see more corporate involvement,” she said. “This is our biggest fundraising event of the year, which is why we’re asking corporations to get behind it and lend their financial support.”
Greer said money raised from the event goes directly to child abuse victim services.
“We provide individual interviews, family counseling, and child abuse prevention program in the schools,” she said. “As parents we try to say, ‘This doesn’t happen in my community, my neighborhood, my church,’ but it does.”
That’s why the Owens House has been there for abused and hurting children and families for the past 20 years. According to Greer, abuse prevention programs offered by the Owens House touches 8,000 children a year.
Adopted as a special project by the Heart of Dixie Chapter Harley Owners Group (HOG), the ride begins and ends at the Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson dealership in Pelham. The event is scheduled for May 18 and will begin at 9 a.m.
The ride is open to all makes and models of motorcycles, and riders may sign up the day of the event. In the past, nearly 300 people have participated.
Over the past 13 years, Blue Ribbon Ride has raised more than $140,000 dollars to benefit Owens House.
Greer said she is hoping to have commitments from the corporate community in place by April 22. Sponsors may contact Owens House directly at 205-669-3333 or by email at Shelbycountycac@bellsouth.net.