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May 21, 2012 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
Worthwhile causes spawn great and passionate support. Case in point: Autism research. That was reflected once again in splendid fashion Saturday in Warwood. The annual Walk for Autism was staged on a glorious morning with hundreds of participants in tow. Among the annual fixtures in the event are the Riders Walk for Autism Team, with its roots emanating from the Martins Ferry School District. The team is 50-plus members strong. They are not all employed by the Purple school district, but they all share the same focus, raising money for a tremendous cause: Autism research. The Riders have been taking part in the Warwood event for five years now. They have raised thousands and thousands of dollars to help fuel the cause. Saturday they delivered $2,500. A year prior they raised more than $4,000. Pam McNeil, an elementary teacher with Ferry schools, is the group's ringleader and a passionate one. She has five autistic students in her class. She oozes commitment for the cause. Pam is not alone. Rhonda Delatore is a major player in the success story, along with countless others who are selfless in their quest to aid the crusade. They raise their money the old-fashioned way -- they earn it. Be it shirt sales, a coin collection or donations, the Riders get it done in about 2 months time. It's refreshing to see so many people working toward a common goal with no personal gain at stake. The Riders Walk for Autism is a microcosm of what is good about the Ohio Valley.
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