John R. "Buddy" Matthews was from Economy, Pennsylvania. Buddy Matthews died tragically on August 22, 2009, from injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. He was a self-employed home contractor who owned Matthews Home Improvements. Buddy Matthews left behind his wife Tricia, daughter Alyson, and a son Joel who has autism. His obituary may be read at the Times Online.
Buddy Matthews is being made an Autism Light posthumously because he was the co-founder of the Eric Barto Memorial Foundation for Autism. Buddy and his wife Tricia created the foundation to honor the memory of their friend and to help children with autism, like their son Joel, to attend YMCA programs. After his death the motorcycle run was renamed the Buddy Matthews Memorial Ride and Benefit for Autism. Linda Voshall, Buddy's mother organizes the event.
The 2nd Annual Ride was held on August 11, 2012. Be sure and mark your calendars for August 10, 2013 when the 3rd Annual Ride will be held. 55 motorcyclists participated in 2012, but the weather conditions were a factor. An event organizer Danny Kehoe said, "Buddy’s the one who started this whole thing because his son Joel has autism (Source)."
The SewickleyPatch website reported:
After Buddy Matthews’ death, the [Eric Barto] event was changed in his name and continues to benefit kids with autism. Proceeds from T-shirt sales, raffles, the silent auction, and other parts of the event go to the Sewickley Valley YMCA to benefit families and kids with autism (Source).Social Media: For more information you can "Like" the Buddy Matthews Memorial Ride on Facebook.
Children with autism are being helped from the Buddy Matthews Memorial Ride. Buddy Matthews has a legacy as an Autism Light and it shines through this event as well as his unending love for his son Joel. May we never take life for granted and realize that every day is precious as we remember Buddy Matthews today. Autism Light will also honor Buddy Matthews by placing his name today on the Autism Light Memorial Roll.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.