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Setting foot inside the Pedal4Pattison’s Spinning Marathon, I had only one thought, “Wow.” Loud, upbeat music pulsed down the hallway at Pattison’s Academy from the auditorium, where athletes and philanthropists came together in support of disabled children. The turnout was absolutely overwhelming. As one’s eyes adjusted to the light, they were greeted by an expansive sea of cyclists pedaling to the beat. The auditorium boasted 130 bikes this year, and over 200 spinners.

Many of the participants worked as part of a team, rotating shifts throughout the morning as the event staff called encouragement. The biggest motivator, however, was the Pattison’s children themselves. Pattison’s Academy kids pedaled or were led around between the rows of spinning bikes with their huge, beaming smiles, with balloons or pompoms streaming in their wake. Happy little girl Aaliyah was grinning the whole time, and Pattison’s child Malik Reed was clearly digging the beat. Malik vigorously shook his pompom to support the spinners, and friend Linda Andrades danced alongside him laughing, “Look at him, he loves this!”

Malik was not the only one relishing the afternoon’s energy. The room was filled with people laughing and cheering each other on, and a couple canine supporters were wagging by the bleachers. Cyclists, socialites, parents, teachers, and East Shore Athletic Club team members kept the marathon going strong from 8AM until noon, when the participants made their way to the after party, but the effects of this incredible, inspiring event will carry through for a long time to come. The 2012 Pedal4Pattison’s Spinning Marathon raised $200,000.

Pattison’s Academy is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with multiple disabilities by providing comprehensive education and rehabilitation programs. Pattison’s works to expose children to a community inclusive rehabilitative program that is completely integrated with an educational environment.