RISE for Autism's iCan! Shine Bike Camp seeks volunteers; Around; The Park; Pistons & Paws; Air Force Academy grad; is SPHS alumnus
Capital - 6/7/2018
Shannon Majoros is looking for a few dozen volunteers to help during RISE for Autism's week-long "iCan! Shine Bike Camp" at Old Mill High School.
The event organizer has 52 volunteers but needs 100 for the camp that begins June 18. Jon Korin, Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Chairman and President of Bike AAA, is involved for his second year.
"I came out to help for one session last spring and was so touched by the children that I ended up volunteering for two sessions all five days," Korin said. "Among those I helped was a little girl named Ellie who was riding on her own by the fourth day. She was so happy she sent me a little thank-you gift she made herself."
Anne Arundel County Police Department Bike Patrol Officer Stanley Newborn planned to volunteer for one day too but loved working with the kids so much he stayed for the duration. He said he was surprised to win the camp's 2017 Superhero Award.
With Korin and Newborn were first-timers Rachel Varn, a Severna Park resident who's started a business called Pedal Power Kids, and county bike patrol officer Dominic Scali.
Majoros said the iCan Shine! Bike Camp organization formed in 2007 to teach individuals with disabilities to independently ride conventional two-wheel bikes. Approximately 80 percent of people with autism and 90 percent of people with Down syndrome never learn how to ride a bicycle.
"The camps are held nationwide but RISE for Autism was the first group to bring it to Anne Arundel County in 2015. The program was so life-changing for its participants that we decided to maintain it," she said. "The hard part for us, as a nonprofit, is that you have to find about $15,000 to run the camp and have to find 100 volunteers."
Hosting the camp for the third year, RISE for Autism gained support from local organizations Prophasys Advanced Technology, Bike AAA, Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks, and Clear Shark Fierce Technology Solutions. The camp runs June 18-22 with a choice of five sessions each day and has already enrolled many children of all ages, the oldest being 19.
During the sessions, each child is paired with two trainer/volunteers. They start out riding adapted bicycles with stabilizing rollers. But, by the end of the week, they're riding standard two-wheelers.
"We volunteers have to be fit as we're required to run alongside the riders and support their bikes when necessary. High school students are perfect volunteers," Korin said. "It's rewarding to see how thrilled the children are to ride...to observe them growing in confidence and self-esteem."
Scali and Newborn feel a natural link to the iCan!Ride Bike Camp as they're already skilled in community relations and safety education for parents and children. They've also received special needs training from the police department and frequently attend cycling events.
Newborn said the kids he helped ride last spring were so fascinated he was a police officer that they peppered him with questions and forgot to be nervous. He loved seeing youngsters he met at the camp taking part in organized rides.
Graduates of this year's camp can participate in Varn's June 22 "Ride Like a Superhero" Pedal Power Kids launch event on the B&A Trail, Severna Park'sJuly 4th Parade Decorated Bike Contest, or the county's fifth annual Lifeline100 Century Ride on October 7.
Lifeline 100 received $93,000 worth of grant money for the county last year, some of which went to the iCan Shine! Bike Camp.
A fee of $100 is charged for the camp but scholarships are available for families who can't afford it.
Volunteers are badly needed. If interested, visit www.riseforautism.org/volunteer.html. For information on Pedal Power Kids, visit www.pedalpowerkids.com. For information on October's Lifeline 100, see www.lifeline100.com .
Pistons & Paws
On Saturday, Anne Arundel Animal Control will present it first combined "Pistons & Paws" Car & Motorcycle Show and Pet Adoption event at 411 Maxwell Frye Road in Millersville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Co-sponsored by AACAC and Annapolis Car Enthusiasts, the event is free.
Having begun as a motorcycle show, it has expanded to include "the cars and motorcycles of one's dreams", foods, music, vendors, displays and demonstrations by the Anne Arundel County police and fire departments, children's activities, a silent auction, and the chance to meet adoptable pets.
Free registration for cars and motorcycles is from 8 a.m. to noon the day of the show. In case of inclement weather there's a rain date of June 23.
For information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org .
Air Force Academy grad
is SPHS alumnus
Severna Park High 2013 graduate James M. Shipley has graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado receiving a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
Email Severna Park news to Sharon Lee Tegler at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @SharonLeeSays.
Credit: Sharon Lee Tegler - Email Severna Park news to Sharon Lee Tegler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @SharonLeeSays.
Caption: Flanking iCan! Shine Bike Camp organizer Shannon Majoros, in the center, are volunteers, left to right, Rachel Varn of Pedal Power Kids, bicycle patrolmen Dominic Scali and Stanley Newborn and Bike AAA President Jon Korin. They met to discuss the camp hosted by RISEforAutism.
Sharon Lee Tegler / Correspondent