2017 Senator Clarence Bell Scholarship Winner Announced
Chris Miller, Lancaster County Chapter
What A.B.A.T.E means to me.
When I first heard about A.B.A.T.E. I was recovering from a motorcycle accident. I was visiting the Millersville VFW with my father when I first saw A.B.A.T.E members. They had stopped by the VFW as an annual stop on the PA Wounded Warrior Ride. After talking to the A.B.A.T.E riders and receiving more information on the local chapter, my curiosity grew and I decided to learn more.
After a few phone calls with the local chapter President, I was sold! Once I joined the local A.B.A.T.E of PA chapter I found out what it truly means to me to be a member. A.B.A.T.E. means brotherhood/ family, positive representation of bikers, promoting biker safety, and giving back to our communities. A.B.A.T.E. gave me another purpose in life that I didn’t know I was missing.
A.B.A.T.E. members have been warm and welcoming to my family and me. During my recovery from my motorcycle accident I had a setback that meant more surgery. The members of my local chapter were gracious and provided dinner for me and my family for two weeks after my second surgery. When I thanked them, they gave a simple reply, “We take care of our own.” A simple statement that meant so much, even though I had only been part of A.B.A.T.E a short time. At that moment, I knew A.B.A.T.E was much more than a motorcycle association it was a family.
By approaching motorcycle safety in multiple ways, I have seen the enormous impact the organization can have on people and the community. I have learned more not only about physically riding but also the legislative impact A.B.A.T.E. has made in PA. I learned how to ride in a group verses riding as an induvial rider. When I was learning to ride in a group the members mixed more experience riders with less experienced riders. They even set up small group rides of less than ten riders to ensure I could get the feel of riding within a group before my first big charity ride. I also learned there are different responsibilities that are assigned to riders when riding in a group.
The legislative impact that A.B.A.T.E has been a part of is Daniel’s Law which has personally impacted my life. It was a distracted driver on their cell phone that had cut me off and caused my accident. Knowing that A.B.A.T.E. was part of helping pass this law demonstrates that I can be part of making a difference in the motorcycle community.
Making a difference does not stop with the motorcycle community when it comes to A.B.A.T.E. I have participated in several charity rides since I have become a member. Being able to give back to organizations that have positively affected my life like the boy scouts with the Boy Scout ride that benefits Camp Mack and Camp Bayshore. Both of which I attended while in scouts. The Frosty Balls ride benefit veterans. I come from a family of veterans, knowing these rides benefit people who have fought for our freedoms and liberties that we have today is one way of showing my appreciation for what they have done.
The charity work, brother hood/family, and safety that they provide shines a light in my life that I can make a difference. I plan to continue spreading the knowledge that I have learned from A.B.A.T.E and pass is on to new motorcyclist. Being a member has also helped me to instill how important giving back to others is to my children. What A.B.A.T.E. means to me is hope in a brighter future.