Gear up to give back

Pedalfest impacts the lives of Heartspring families

Written by Sara Garrison

Travis and Thomas team up to help Heartspring KWCH 12’s Ross Janssen and millie the Weather Dog will emcee PedalFest.

When a family has a child with special needs, it will do what it can to get the child life-changing therapies. For many families, even with the best insurance, these therapies can become a financial burden.

On Aug. 22, Heartspring is hosting the 12th annual PedalFest bike ride to raise funds for the organization’s Pediatric Services Financial assistance Fund.

“The funds raised [at PedalFest] make these life-changing therapies possible for families that may not otherwise be able to access quality services within our community,” says Dusty Buell, director of marketing at Heartspring.

Last year, Heartspring Pediatric Services met the outpatient therapy needs of more than 900 children with developmental delays and disabilities. Heartspring Pediatric Services includes occupational, physical and speech therapies, autism programs, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and audiology.

In 2014, the Financial Assistance Program, which is partially funded by PedalFest proceeds, distributed more than $101,000 in discounted or free therapies to 135 families.

Kimberly Becker, division director of pediatric services and outreach at heartspring says: “The money raised assists children in receiving the medically-necessary therapy services they need to increase their independence and participation in our community.”

Over the last 12 years, PedalFest has impacted the lives of many Heartspring children and families, including Thomas Rains. Thomas participated in the Pedalfest as a student at the Heartspring School. a native of Hydro, Oklahoma, Thomas came to Heartspring in 2009 when his behaviors were keeping him from attending public school and he was falling behind in his academics.

After spending three years at Heartspring, Thomas returned home to attend high school. In high school, he was a member of the basketball and track teams, ran cross country and served as the manager of the basketball team his senior year.

Today, Thomas is helping students at Heartspring as the adapted physical education paraeducator working with his former adapted physical education teacher Travis Grover. In his job, Thomas helps teach physical education to 59 students, three to four times each week.

“Thomas is the perfect fit for the adapted physical education program at Heartspring,” explains Grover. “Thomas has come full circle and has made a full 180 degree shift from when he started as a student to where he is now as a paraeducator. I am so proud to see him grow into the young man he is today.”

Thomas enjoys his new job at Heartspring. “It means a lot to help the kids,” he says. “I understand their situation and being away from home. I am so glad I can give back.”

To learn more about PedalFest and to register, visit PedalFest.org.

Schedule and info

12th Annual PedalFest
Saturday, Aug. 22
Heartspring | 8700 E. 29th Street N., Wichita

PedalFest offers 100K, 50K, 25K distance rides and a 5-mile family ride. After finishing the PedalFest route, riders are invited to join in the Post-Ride Celebration including lunch, a beer garden, live music, booths and an awards presentation at the Heartspring campus.

Registration costs vary per bike route. Fees include an event t-shirt, lunch and more.

Can’t attend? Register as a virtual rider. To register visit PedalFest.org

PedalFest Schedule:
6 a.m.- Registration
6:30 a.m.- 100K Ride Early Start
7:30 a.m.-100K Ride Start
8 a.m.- 50K Ride Start
9 a.m.- 25K Ride Start
10 a.m.- 5-mile Family Ride Begins
10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.-Post-Ride Celebration

 
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