CABVI’s youth development program participated in The Ride for Missing Children under the leadership of legally blind athletes, Amos Ackerman and Rebecca Missig. Our team learned the importance of safety, proper training and engaged in fundraising for a crucial cause. We had 10 volunteer pilots, one board member and CABVI staff. CABVI was leading the group of more than 350 riders on June 3rd, 2016 from MVCC to the New Hartford Recreation Center. With our success, we hope to continue to participate for many years to come.
CABVI’s has received a number of generous donations. Chester Triplett, a member of a nationally ranked tandem cycling team, purchased all the bike helmets for CABVI’s stokers. The Telephone Pioneers of America made a grant for CABVI to purchase four communication headsets. Bill Savicki and Harley-Davidson of Utica gave CABVI a great deal on the remainder of the headsets and worked one-on-one with us in getting them installed.
MEET THE TEAM!
CABVI Pilot Riders
John Calabrese, Sr. is the Owner and President of Express Employment Professionals and a member of the Central New York Vision Foundation board of directors. He lives in New Hartford with his wife Lori and three sons, John Jr., Morgan and Joe. He is proud to participating in the ride with the CABVI team and to be riding together with his son John Jr.
Steve Klepadlo is a pilot rider and a business teacher at Camden High School. Steve also coaches track and field, is an avid cyclist, competing in the Black fly Challenge every year. He enjoys working with children and is proud to take part in this amazing event.
Mike Davis is a fireman for the City of Rome and has his master’s degree from The College at Brockport. He has volunteered for CABVI in the past and is excited about being a part of the Ride for Missing Children.
Alex Crawford works at CABVI as a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Case Manager and co-coordinates the adaptive sports and recreation program. She is a graduate of Florida State University with her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Master’s in Visual Disabilities.
Tiffany Mitrakos works at CABVI as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and co-coordinates the Adaptive Sports and Recreation program. She is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a Master’s in Adapted Physical Education, as well as a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a Master’s in Special Education: Visual Impairments.
John Calabrese, Jr.
Mother Daughter duo
Emma Brown is a stoker. She is 8-years-old – a second grader at Lafargeville Central School. Jessica Brown is Emma’s mom and pilot. She is mother to three other girls besides Emma. She is the owner of a beauty salon, which she has been operating over 15 years. Jessica hopes that this ride helps Emma realize that she can be physically active, work in a group and give back to the community. She explained why the ride is personal to her. “Being a hairdresser, I hear a lot of personal stories; some by customers who say they were exploited as children. Some are close friends. Last year two Amish girls were kidnapped in our area. “She admires and respects the efforts of CABVI and its team of riders. Jessica says she is thankful to participate in the effort and prays their contributions will help.
CABVI Stoker Riders
Victoria Everett is a stoker and a junior at Henninger High School in Syracuse. She is a backup vocalist for a worship team at church and participates in outreach to help the community in any way possible. Victoria attended Winter Camp Abilities-CABVI in February. Her favorite sport is downhill skiing. Upon graduation in 2016 she plans to study social work or psychology for children and teens.
Ahmat Adam Djouma is a sophomore at Proctor High School. He has participated in many activities that CABVI hosts, including Camp Abilities. In the future he plans to attend college and go to law school.
Makka Adam Djouma is a freshman at Proctor High School. She has participated in many activities that CABVI hosts, including Camp Abilities. In the future she plans to attend college and would like to work for the FBI.
Mariam Adam Djouma is in the 5th grade at Jefferson Elementary. She has participated in many activities that CABVI hosts, including Camp Abilities. She enjoys reading and would someday like to become an author.
Kelly Cusack is an eighth grade honor student at Bethlehem Central Middle School. She enjoys a variety of activities such as: chorus, piano, guitar, knitting, track, reading, writing, and anything science fiction. She has attended many CABVI programs including both summer and winter Camp Abilities and several prevocational activities. Kelly has qualified for the National Braille Challenge finals, which will take place in June at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, California. In late February, she initiated a volunteer project to put braille labels on all of the audio books at her local public library. This project is now underway and many books have been labeled. After she graduates from college, Kelly plans to become a scientist or writer.
Brady Prince is a 3rd grade student at New York Mills UFSD. He enjoys reading, playing Minecraft, and building with Legos. Brady has attended both CABVI summer and winter Camp Abilities, with his favorite activity being tandem biking. His plans for this summer are to attend dance camp at Dancemania, where he is in his 3rd year of hip hop, and he is very excited to attend summer Camp Abilities for his 2nd year.
Rebecca Missig is an agent in the call center at CABVI. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Counseling from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans. Next fall she is starting a Master’s Degree Program in social work with University of Buffalo. She enjoys tandem biking and is excited about being part of the Ride for Missing Children.
CABVI Shepherd Riders
Rich Minutti has been the owner and operator of the Appliance Doctor since 1988. He enjoys hiking, bike riding and traveling. Rich has been a volunteer for CABVI’s Boilermaker water station for several years. He is excited to be a part of the Ride for Missing Children with CABVI.
Betsy Harvey – Minutti