Members of the Stephanie Jallen Paralympic Fund, Inc. organized the seventh annual Stephanie Jallen Motorcycle and Car show on Sunday. Over 750 attended the all-day event, according to fund treasurer Lynn Daddio, which included more than 300 shiny bikes and more than 50 nifty-looking cars, three bands, a scavenger hunt, food, raffles, vendors and other festivities.
The funds raised will be used to support Jallen’s journey to represent the United States in Russia. In March of 2014, Jallen will realize a personal goal of reaching the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Proceeds of the event will go towards Stephanie’s training, travel and equipment for her journey, Daddio said.
“This is what fuels me,” said Jallen, 17, from Harding, as she greeted volunteers, participants and guests at the fundraiser in her honor. Jallen was born with a rare birth defect that caused her left side to never fully develop, forcing doctors to amputate her left leg when she was an infant.
To Jallen, Sunday’s event was more than a way to pay for her skiing - it also represented a way to give back to the community that has shown its support for her since she began her sports career.
“This does not end today. It’s going to get bigger and bigger so we can start helping other kids around the world who don’t have the money,” she said.
“It feels incredible to get this support,” Jallen continued. “It reminds me this is why I compete.”
She looks forward with confidence to her upcoming national skiing competitions. There will be at least 12 different events, she said, including trips to New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Colorado, and Canada, with the final events scheduled for Russia.
Daddio said she was very excited about the turnout on Sunday and expected to easily trump last year’s $3,000 total. This was the first year the event included a car show, she said.
The interest level in the annual affair has grown significantly over the last few years and the fund members will continue to work toward keeping it going into the future, she added.
Anyone wishing to follow Jallen’s competitions can visit www.stephaniejallen.org.