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Stunt riders will be back with message of hope

Photos by Tom Rivers: Scott Caraboolad does a stunt in front of the student body at Lyndonville Central School on Oct. 5.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 May 2018 at 8:57 pm

Planning also under way for National Night Out on Aug. 7

KNOWLESVILLE – A trio of stunt motorcycle bike riders will return to Orleans County for four days of events in September, bringing with them a message of hope in overcoming addiction.

Scott Caraboolad  is the leader of the Ride4Life stunt riders that perform for schools, community events and prisons around the country. Last October, they did events at the Holley, Kendall and Lyndonville schools, as well as community events in Albion and Medina. Their biggest event was “Hopefest” at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds in Knowlesville.

Scott Caraboolad urged students to reach out for help if they are feeling depressed or overwhelmed. Even when he was making millions of dollars as a stunt bike rider, Caraboolad said he turned to pills and then drugs to handle the pressure and stress in his life. By his late 20s, he was a drug addict with his life in shambles. “If something is boiling over in your life, don’t try to take it on by yourself,” Caraboolad told the students. “Reach out to people in the community.”

Caraboolad is a recovering drug addict. He shares a message about making healthy choices. His visit last year was supported by a group of churches and pastors in Orleans County, as well as the Sheriff’s Office, Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition, Suicide Prevention Coalition of Orleans County, the Genesee-Orleans Opioid Task Force and other agencies.

“It was amazing the number of different people who came,” said Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Albion and one of the leaders of PACT, Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation.

Lindsay shared the news today that Ride4Life will be back this year from Sept. 12-15. Lindsay addressed the Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition.

Several local church leaders have formed PACT to unite churches in addressing some community issues. Lindsay said churches want to be part of helping people overcome drug addictions. Many of the churches are running recovery-based programs, Lindsay said.

“We pastors have done too many funerals of people who have died of overdoses,” he said. “We get it.”

Caraboolad and the stunt riders are a draw with their feats on the bikes. Lindsay said they share a message that is appropriate for their audience, whether its students or a community event. The Ride4Life group spoke to 1,500 students in Orleans County last October. The bigger community event at the Fairgrounds attracted about 1,500 people, Lindsay said.

Russ Peters, pastor of the Alabama Full Gospel, also addressed the coalition today. He said the churches have connected with many agency organizations, as well as the Sheriff’s Office, to be part of the community’s response to the drug epidemic.

The Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition also shared there are plans in the works for the National Night Out on Aug. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event is a chance for residents to connect with law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders, as well as agency leaders. There will be demonstrations and fun competitions. The new fire house, which teaches fire safety and an escape plan, will also be available at the event.

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