Eleven years ago Travis Burkhart and his family started on a long journey to recovery after the Plainville native sustained a traumatic brain injury on the way back to school at the University of Southern Indiana. It didn’t take them long to learn that even good insurance doesn’t cover all of the necessary medical equipment and services, especially when one’s recovery extends beyond insurance’s allotted time frame. In fact, his recovery is still ongoing.
In an effort to ease the burden they encountered for other families in the community who find themselves in similar long-term recovery situations, the family formed the Travis Burkhart Foundation that organizes fundraisers from which 100% of the proceeds go to providing needed medical equipment and services to local families in need. One of those fundraisers is the Ride for Recovery, slated for July 13.
Kim Burkhart, Travis’ mother and one of the foundation’s organizers, said she hopes to have record participation in the annual event.
“Currently, we have 10 vehicles pre-registered,” said Burkhart, who said any road-ready vehicles are welcome to participate. “There is one course planned for motorcycles and a separate one for other vehicles.”
Registration fees are $20 per driver with an additional $10 for each passenger. A person can pre-register online or be at the Plainville Park, where the event begins at 9 a.m., for registration the day of the event. Participants 18 years and older can participate in the accompanying poker game. These participants will draw a card at the park before setting out and then another at each of three stops along the planned route. It was noted that the Ride 4 Recovery is unique in that one of the stops will be scenic while the other two will be the typical convenience stores for fueling up and restroom breaks. Participants will complete their poker hands by drawing a final card upon returning to the Plainville Park. Prizes will be awarded for first through third place for the best hands, and all participants are invited to linger at the park for a lunch that is included in the registration fee.
Any individual outside a recovering person’s immediate family can go to travisburkhartfoundation.com to fill out an application to nominate a person one knows is in need of medical funding assistance. It is recommended that the applicant provide a detailed description of the person’s situation including times, date, and locations of services to allow the foundation to make responsible decisions about fund distribution that will allow the foundation’s limited funds to stretch to help the most families.
Burkhart shared that participation in past fundraisers has not been sufficient to keep the fund at a level where it can meet all the needs that come to it for help. Despite the shortage she reports that the charitable organization has raised and distributed $188,000 since its beginning and anticipates that number will reach a quarter million in another year’s time. The funds have gone to a variety of needs from iPads for communication use by children with autism and other disabilities to monthly gas, lodging and food for patients traveling for cancer treatment. A prescription or letter of need from a teacher, therapist or doctor is recommended during the application process.
For more information or to register, visit www.travisburkhartfoundation.com.