By Sonya Campbell
The Cove Herald
American Legion Riders Post 582 in Copperas Cove is raising money with a motorcycle rally April 30 to purchase a service dog for a 12-year-old Nolanville boy.
Matthew Shatterly was diagnosed with autism four years ago. His parents, Dea and Jason Shatterly, believe a service dog trained to meet his needs could ease the boy's night terrors and meltdowns, common symptoms among children with autism.
The dog also would be trained to keep the child from wandering or running off, which is another common trait.
The couple has been working with 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit agency based in Ohio that's overseeing the dog's training. The agency has established an account for the Shatterly family. They have raised nearly half of the $11,000 needed to get the dog.
The American Legion Riders based at the American Legion post in Copperas Cove decided to dedicate their Spring Fun Run to Matthew in early April.
The run will start and end at the American Legion post, 910 Industrial Ave. in Copperas Cove. Poker run hands are $5 each plus $1 per extra card. Prizes will be awarded for the highest and lowest hands.
The first bike out will depart at 10 a.m., and the last bike in will be at 4 p.m. An "all-you-can eat" breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. The cost is a $6 donation. Dinner plates also will be available for a donation.
Bike games and a silent auction also are planned. Door prizes will be awarded. The run hopes to raise between $1,200 and $1,500 to assist the family.
For more information about the bike run, call Daniel Brown at (254) 630-4519.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help the Shatterly family is welcome to do so by mailing donations to 4 Paws for Ability, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, OH 45385. Be sure to designate that it goes to Matthew Shatterly's account.
For more information about the agency, go to www.4pawsforability.org.