Motorcycle ride to benefit patients at Woodridge Hospital


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- The second-annual Woodridge Ridge Run is set for Aug. 13, beginning at 10 a.m. in Johnson City. Proceeds from the motorcycle ride will benefit patients at Woodridge Hospital.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at Smith Brothers Harley Davidson on the Bristol Highway. The ride will start at 11 a.m. and will wind through Cherokee National Forest into North Carolina, following the Cane River and passing two waterfalls along the way. The 75-mile ride is expected to last about two hours.

“The main goal of this event is to raise awareness about mental illness and help people understand that this is an illness like any other, and these patients need us to serve as their advocates,” said Grace Pereira, vice president of behavioral health and rehabilitative services for Mountain States Health Alliance. “Mental illness doesn’t just affect the individual who suffers, but it also affects the family. And if the family unit is affected, then the whole community is affected also. It’s everyone’s responsibility.”

Local band, Under the Table, will welcome the riders back to Smith Brothers, where lunch will be offered and door prizes announced. The entry fee is $20 per motorcycle, and all proceeds from entry fees, food sales and door prize tickets will go to help patients at Woodridge Hospital, the region’s only inpatient mental health facility.

“We use this money to buy supplies for therapeutic arts and crafts, and also to provide clothing and personal items for some of our patients,” said Denise Clark, executive assistant to Grace Pereira. “People often come to us from crisis situations or very difficult living conditions. Sometimes they have no shoes, or no clothes at all, so we try to provide some assistance to help them get back to functioning in the community.”

Pre-registration for the Aug. 13 event is not necessary. All participants will register on the day of the ride. For more information, call 423-431-7043.

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit
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