Heavy Metal Thunder Powers ARISE’s Ramp Program

riders for ramps

OSWEGO – ARISE revved up its annual Ride for Ramps program on Saturday.

Members of ARISE and dozens of volunteers hosted the fundraiser with assistance from Lighthouse Lanes and Oswego Speedway.

James Karasek of ARISE welcomes the riders and thanks them for taking part.
James Karasek of ARISE welcomes the riders and thanks them for taking part.

Last year, in honor of the 25th year of the ADA proclamation, more than 100 motorcycle enthusiasts and around 80 motorcycles joined in to help raise funds for the ramps program.

This year the number of motorcycles was down slightly to about 60.

“It’s a great day and a great cause,” one rider told Oswego County Today. “I’m kind of surprise there aren’t more people here.”

The group also had a 5-K run at Oswego Speedway, Sabine Ingerson, director of ARISE’s Oswego County offices, noted.

“Some of them are doing that now. Then they’ll come down here to enjoy the fun,” she said. “We have 50-50s and some wonderful raffles.”

“This is the only program in the state of New York like this,” said James Karasek of ARISE. “When people go into nursing homes, hospitals, they go to rehab, on their discharge papers, because of the change in the medical law, if the patient goes back within 30 days for the same condition, they don’t have to pay the hospital. Now they are putting on their discharge papers, may be discharged upon accessible access to home environment.”

ARISE has installed many ramps to ensure more and more people do have access to home environment, Karasek said.

“Last year, we installed two ramps for children who were under the age of 12,” he added. “That’s your support that allows us to do that. We did a total of 31 projects last year; including 21 ramps and several tear downs and seven repairs when we went out to some of the first ramps that were built and upgraded them.”

“On behalf of those of us who have ramps and will have ramps, I want to say thank you very much for your generosity,” Pat McMahon told the riders. “It is greatly appreciated.”

“You’re the heroes in our live. Because without you we can’t do what we do.”

Pastor Vivian Summerville, of the Oswego County Comets Motorcycle Riding Club, delivered the blessing as the riders prepared to head out.

Mayor Billy Barlow thanked the riders and volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the community.

“And, thank you to ARISE for all that they do for the people in our community. We are lucky to have such a dedicated organization here,” he said.

Six years ago, Karasek said he cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for six riders.

“Look where we are today,” he told OCT. “This is just amazing. This is truly amazing. We appreciate the support of the riders and all the volunteers. I have a phenomenal group of people helping me. And, to the ones that have been here every year, God bless you!”

The squadron of volunteers included members of the Oswego Police and Fire departments.

Jason Noyes, who started the ride event eight years ago, thanked the nearly 60 motorcycle riders who showed up for Saturday’s event.

“We started with just a handful of riders. Now, it’s grown into this!” he said. “Thank you. Enjoy the ride and be safe.”

The ARISE ramp program was started a few years ago at the First United Methodist Church in Oswego to take care of the needs of those that required a ramp for safe entry and exit from their home.

As the program grew, First United partnered with ARISE to meet the growing requests that were coming in.

Through the generosity of donors, ARISE funds the purchase of materials and then the process shifts back to the original start of the program.

The First United Methodist Church has turned part of the basement into a work shop that constructs the ramp sections.

More Volunteers Sought

“ARISE does the intake process, draws the plans and assembles the volunteers for the ramp build. The ramp then is assembled in schedule with the volunteers availability. We sometimes have company teams that come together for a volunteer day, a team building exercise, or just for the concept of returning to the community. We welcome each of these teams,” Karasek explained.

The Ride for Ramps is the annual fundraiser for the program.

The event offered a choice of a chicken BBQ or pulled pork. There were activities for the kids and adults.

For further information about ARISE, contact Karasek at 315-342-4088 x206 or [email protected]


ARISE is a non-profit Independent Living Center run by and for people with disabilities.

The organization has been providing advocacy and services since 1979.

Each year ARISE works with approximately 4,000 people of all ages who have all types of disabilities.

ARISE has offices in Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Cayuga, and Seneca counties and operates ARISE at the Farm, a 77-acre recreational facility in Chittenango, and ARISE and Ski at Toggenburg Winter Sports Center in Fabius.