BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro Retreat will host the 4th Annual Ride for Heroes event starting on Saturday, Aug. 17, with registration beginning at 10 a.m. and riders leaving the Retreat at 11 a.m. The escorted ride will take motorcycle riders on a route through southern Vermont's scenic hills and valleys, by rivers and historic villages. Participants will wind up back at the Retreat for a barbeque lunch on the hospital's beautiful campus.
Ayla Brown, the popular American Idol finalist, and daughter of former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., will begin the day by singing the National Anthem.
This is the fourth annual Ride for Heroes aimed at supporting the Retreat's Uniformed Service Program, which offers specialized trauma and addiction treatment for people who are, or have been, active military, police officers, firefighters, veterans, EMS and corrections personnel. According to the USP data, professionals in uniform are more likely to have witnessed or experienced life-threatening events and human tragedy that can lead to serious stress disorders and other duty-related problems with alcohol and drug addiction, anxiety and depression.
"We are very proud of our Uniformed Service Program and the many people in uniform, present and past, who have sought help in our program," said Dr. Robert E. Simpson, president and chief executive officer of The Brattleboro Retreat. "We are working every day to help people who put their lives on the line every day but rarely receive or ask for the help they need to cope with the stresses of the job."
People who come to the USP for treatment can take advantage of the campus-like setting of the Brattleboro Retreat during their stay. USP has received national recognition for its work in treating men and women for post-traumatic stress disorder as studies show that all men and women who answer the call of duty are at higher risk for PTSD.
"It is events like the Ride for Heroes that truly allow us to support and grow our Uniformed Service Program," said Simpson. "We're looking for hundreds of riders to come and take part and enjoy a summer ride here at the Retreat for a great cause to help our everyday heroes."
Registration is $20 per person and includes both the ride and barbeque lunch. The first 200 riders to register will receive a free t-shirt.
The afternoon will include music and vendors as well as raffles and prizes with many items donated by local businesses. This is an alcohol and smoke free event, and will be held rain or shine. While participants must be 18 years of age or older to ride, all adult riders and types of motorcycles are welcome.
Major sponsors for this event include MVP Health Care, Sodexo, WKVT Radio, Communicators Group, Brown Computer Solutions, Monadnock Harley Davidson, GS Precision, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Crothers Environmental Group, and Dick's Lock Repair.