Third Annual SRA Junior Tab Run
The idea of the Junior Tab Run was envisioned in 2014 when we realized that many schools were participating in the Olivia Andrews Tab Run. This Event is a motorcycle ride from Griffin to Columbus and unless they were the passenger of their parent, the students were left out. The result is an event catering to the students that allows them to have their own version of the larger Tab Run, but in a controlled environment.
The Tab Run Story
“Home Away From Home” …….
When your child is sick, you want the best care possible – even if it is hundreds or thousands of miles away. The treatment may last a day, a month, or even longer. It’s a long time to be away from home, or to divide a family. And, for children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing seems scarier than not having their mom and dad close by for love and support.
For families facing the serious illness of a child, there are many unknowns. Today, the question “Where will I stay?” doesn’t have to be one of them thanks to the Ronald McDonald House.
For the hundreds of families who find themselves away from home during a medical crisis, lodging alternatives are slim. Those who cannot afford a hotel must commute, doze in a hospital waiting room or at best, sleep in their car. Even for those who can afford a hotel, the cost of an extended stay can be more that most families can bear.
The Ronald McDonald Houses provides temporary lodging to the families of children, age 21 or younger, who travel to a distant locale for specialized medical care. Staying at our Ronald McDonald House allows parents the ability to better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. Families who cross our threshold seek respite, an encouraging word, a place to rest, regroup and ready themselves to face whatever tomorrow may bring. For these individuals, our Ronald McDonald House represents more than just a place to stay; it is a place of warmth, comfort and caring.
Families are stronger when they are together, which helps in the healing process. The Ronald McDonald Houses keeps families together and allows parents to make a promise to their sick child that they know they can keep -“No matter what, we’ll be right here with you!”
A Typical Ronald McDonald House has an annual operating budget of over $400,000. We depend solely on the generosity of our local community for support of our annual operations. We have both individual and corporate donors, and fundraising events are conducted throughout the year to raise the bulk of the funds needed.
Recyclers pay a premium for the tabs as a donation to the RMHC. The Ronald McDonald House Pop Tab Collection Program was established in 1987 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Ronald McDonald House community.
Olivia’s Story and the beginning of the Olivia Andrews Tab Run
In 1999, Arnie and Kim Cobb, members of the Southside Riders began a program in cooperation with the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, Georgia to collect pop tabs from beverage cans. In their first annual “Olivia Andrews Tab Run,” they collected 164 pounds of tabs and 28 bikers rode from Griffin to the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. In 2005, the ride name was changed to “Olivia Andrews Tab Run and Pennies-4-Life Ride,” and encouraged bikers to save pop tabs AND their pennies for the entire year. In 2005, they delivered 3,568 lbs. of tabs and had approximately 1,000 bikers in attendance! The inspiration for their cause is Arnie’s niece, a beautiful, now healthy, redheaded young lady named Olivia Andrews and the following letter, written by her aunt, Kim Cobb, describes their story:
“On March 17, 1997, Olivia Andrews was born premature and immediately rushed to The Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia. Arnie’s sister and brother-in-law, Toni and Shane Andrews, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus while Olivia was hospitalized for 3 months. She is now a healthy little girl thanks to all the great care she received at the hospital. Toni and Shane’s stay at the Ronald McDonald House could not have been more pleasant considering the circumstances they were facing.
Arnie wanted to give back a little of what the Ronald McDonald House had given his sister and her husband. Being a member of the Southside Riders Association, he posed the idea to the group of collecting aluminum pop tabs to help with the needed expenses that the Ronald McDonald House has to incur. What started out as a small project has now become pretty big. He and the other members of Southside Riders Association have devoted a lot of time talking to other motorcycle groups around Atlanta and people in our communities about collecting tabs.
To close, I will share with you that every place Arnie and I go, whether it be a place to eat, a park or a gas station, he will look for and pick up any tabs he finds! I know that what he has done, along with the Southside Riders Association and other motorcycle groups, the Ronald McDonald House has what Arnie Cobb set out for them to have, SUPPORT which is going to be continuous and well deserved.” ~ Kim Cobb~
Arnie’s advice: “Keep pulling those pop tabs and join them in this year’s Tab Run!”
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