Ride for the Dawn (Dawn Center Benefit)


Alyssa Barocas, Hometown Hero

Spring Hill, FL. – (August 2019) You’ve read here about Alyssa Barocas, the 13 year old Hometown Hero who began a school project last year which benefitted the Dawn Center to the tune of nearly $10,000.  We continue her story and share the details of how the event she created then is growing into something bigger.  And how you can help.

You may know that The Dawn Center of Ride for the DawnHernando County is a certified domestic and sexual violence center providing no cost supportive services for victims/survivors to heal and plan their futures.  The Dawn Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating social change in the community and breaking down the barriers of stigma, silence and shame associated with these types of violence.

Last year, Alyssa picked this organization as the one she would try to benefit.  She thought that the mission of the Dawn Center was one that REALLY  helped people.  Alyssa says that she’s never known anyone who has suffered domestic or sexual violence.  She isn’t personally motivated by this cause.  But, she’s smart enough to understand that this issue is widespread and worthy of attention. For her assignment, she was asked to raise $100.  With the assistance of her father and his girlfriend and a network of friends and family and small business owners she accomplished something that hadn’t been done before in the Pay It Forward school program.  She BLEW the top off of the fundraising effort.  And that was done with the type of restrictions that come with school-related activities.

This year, unrestricted by any program or institution, Alyssa is working directly with the Dawn Center’s Community Engagement Coordinator April Johnson.  She’s also asked and allowed her dad to rally a team of adults and local bars/eateries into a loose committee, of sorts.  She’s recruited her friend Paige Burkhardt and as the date of this year’s event gets closer, she’ll be adding to the ranks of people and places that are part of an amazing effort that comes straight from her heart.  Alyssa has created AN EVENT.  She has IDEAS.  She’s going to SUSTAIN this project year after year.  She WANTS To.  You are invited.

Here is EXACTLY what’s going on.  And how you can be part of this good thing…

On Saturday, September 28th participants in the event are invited to arrive at one of Spring Hills landmark establishments, the Horse & Crown (5230 Commercial Way, Spring Hill), beginning as early as 9am for sausage and gravy biscuit or breakfast casserole for a suggested donation of $5 a plate, served up courtesy of the bar staff and owners (proceeds benefit the Dawn Center).  While there, you’ll register, receive instructions about the RIDE and get your first story card.  But you’ll only have part of the story.  The ride will take you to five stops between Hernando Beach and the prettiest parts of Brooksville.  At each stop, participants will receive the next part of the story before traveling on to the next location.  It’s a game of sorts; by the time you finish, you will have heard the whole story and have a better understanding of the way OUT and how domestic/sexual violence survivors are helped UP in our community.

Horse & Crown is the official starting point for the Ride for the Dawn 2019

Horse & Crown is the official starting point for the Ride for the Dawn 2019

While the event is built around a day of motorcycle riding, ALL VEHICLES ARE WELCOME.  In fact, FAMILIES are encouraged to participate.  There is a suggested donation of $10 per participant/maximum $20 per car.  

Around 10am, it’ll be kickstands up… everyone riding or driving will travel and stop into the Drunken Mullet (3306 Shoal Line Blvd) on Hernando Beach, Marker 48 (12147 Cortez Blvd,) on SR 50, the Sail Inn (6107 Broad St) on US 41 and then arrive at the big celebration at the Sparacia Witherell Family Winery & Vineyards (21509 Snow Hill Rd) out in the Chinsegut area of Brooksville around 2pm.

The Shadow Ridge Band has been invited to play music all afternoon.  Activities are planned and some cool vendors and food trucks will be in place with beer/wine/soft drink & water available.

Alyssa thinks that THIS will be a fun day full of good vibes.  We agree. 

If you’d like to support this event here’s how to do itCome out that day and pay to play.  If you can’t do that, stop into one of the locations and drop some cash into one the donation jars that have been set out as of this week.  Or, send a donation directly to the Dawn Center via their paypal link here (Alyssa’s Ride for the Dawn).  Please include a note that your donation is intended to support the 2nd Annual Ride for the Dawn.

Alyssa, Paige & Sue making donation jars

Alyssa, Paige & Sue decorating & labeling donation jars

In the event that you or someone you know needs assistance escaping from domestic and/or sexual violence, please contact the Dawn Center via their 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 352-686-8430.  Tell them Alyssa encouraged your bravery…



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