Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

10th Annual Burkett Center Ride

Written by  April 30, 2019

  We have happily been a part of 2 different, very worthy events over the past 10 years, both of which we have now had to rescued after they got dropped. The latest rescue was the Burkett Center Ride, which we got back on its feet on Saturday March the 30th, 2019


  We were very thankful for all of the "Road Warrior Angels" that rolled in to Rider's Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama in support of the Burkett Center, many of whom had been making this journey for years with us, and some were new comers that quickly became part of the family.

  The Burkett Center is part of the Jefferson County school system, however they don't get the funding needed for some of the special needs of their students. This is a very unique and special school that is headed up by a very unique and special person, as are all of the educators here.

  The Burkett Center was established in 1977 as the Springdale Center. In 1987, the program moved to a newly renovated building and was renamed for the past Superintendent, Dr. William E. Burkett.

  The school starts by offering a pre-school program that has 4 special education classes with the purpose of providing special education and related services to students with disabilities. There are also a limited number of openings that are reserved for "typically developing " preschoolers in order for the special education students to be exposed to "typical development", I’m sure it’s just as beneficial for the “typical students to be exposed to the special needs students as well. All classes use current accepted instructional practices to facilitate child development and school readiness. The school serves approximately 80 students ranging in ages 3 to 21, with multiple disabilities, and draws students from most areas served by the Jefferson County Board of Education.

  That only scratch’s the surface of what this school is, what they do and what it means to these kids and their families. The schools leader is principal, Daniel Roth, this is the kindest most devoted to his school and students principal I have ever known, and his teachers come equipped with the same passion and emotional investment.

  In the past years, the monies raised from this ride have allowed the school to purchase things like a special chair that was needed for some of the students, a garden in the back that was made for wheelchair access with tranquil touches, like the flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, its a place that I wanted to spend hours in myself! I think I would have gotten more from my schooling had it taken place in such a nurturing environment.

  We started the day off picking up dozens of cheese biscuits donated by Jim-n-Nicks in Trussville to go with the donuts we had picked up the night before, donated by Heavenly Donuts in Gardendale, for our riders as they registered. Vicky Vail graciously agreed to help us with registration; she also participated in the ride, and she managed to squeeze into her busy schedule, some of the “pick-up & delivery” of some of the items. We can’t begin to thank her enough for everything.

  The day started off cloudy, making us wonder if it would affect the ride, but it quickly burned off as the bikes started rolling in. Our friends with the Jefferson County Sheriffs department, Sgt. Park and Deputy Vince Gilham, came to escort us safely to the Burkett Center as they have done so many times in past years and for many different events. There had already been a couple of rides that had taken place on previous weekends that had people "go down", not hurt mind you, but not something you want to have happen at any rate. It is our BELIEF, that between our escorts and the ride prayer for safety preformed by Thomas Taz Chadwick with the Bond Slaves, we had NO incidents! Thank God! 

  It was a beautiful scenic ride over to the school and once there, the riders were welcomed by principal Daniel Roth and some of the staff that had come to help, they had gotten there early to set up tables and chairs for all of us, one of them even jumped in the Coke trailer that had been dropped off for us by the Coca Cola company earlier, to help Ivy Cook with serving drinks to everyone.

For lunch, Rusty's BBQ in Leeds had brought the food truck out with some awesome eats for everyone to purchase, Golden Flake donated the chips and Bud's Best cookies donated cookies for all of our sweet tooth needs.

  Principal Roth brought out some Burkett Center shirts to go in the "goodie grab" pile, which contained 2 tables of some really nice donated items from very generous folks like;

  Jeff Dennis Jewelry in Gardendale, who has been a long time contributor, donated a $100 gift card

Auto Zone in Fultondale with a tool set,

Advanced Auto in Gardendale donated a tool set; you can never have too many tool sets, O'Reilly Auto Parts in Fultondale donated a cordless drill, Ming's Garden, a $20.00 gift card, Baja California Cantina & Grill in Fultondale, a $25.00 gift card, Wintzell's Oyster House in Fultondale, a $25.00 gift card, Jim-n-Nicks, 6 pig out coupons, What-a-Burger in Fultondale, free sandwich coupons, Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham, a shirt & hat, Auto Zone in Pinson, 4-rubber car mats, Ken Weekly with Snap On, socks-dry towels-beach towel & shirts, Rider's Harley-Davidson in Trussville, back pack bags, Sheri Smith with Professional Shooting Specialists, Clay Shotgun Target Lesson, O'Reilly's in Pinson, Misty donated 5- $25.00 gift cards-WOW!! We had SO many nice things to offer our riders who bought tickets for chances at these items; they were all given one (1) ticket at registration.

  At the end of the day, we had a lovely scenic, safe ride, an awesome lunch, great fellowship with some pretty wonderful folks, and we got to hand over a little over $1,500 to principal Roth and the Burkett Center. We know it was greatly appreciated and will for sure go to something that is much needed at the school.

  Thanks to Karla Duncan for the "in-route" shots!