Mitzvot from the Heart: Amanda Lopatin

Amanda Lopatin

Amanda Lopatin, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Amanda Lopatin used her passion for bike riding to raise money for a cause near and dear to her family’s heart: the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

In 2005 Amanda’s grandmother died from this devastating disease while her aunt was diagnosed with it. When someone has Huntington’s Disease (HD), each of his or her child has a 50 percent chance of having it. It is a degenerative brain disorder with no current treatment or cure.  HD diminishes the individual’s ability to walk, think, talk and reason. It not only affects the individual with HD, but also his or her family and friends.  More than a quarter of a million Americans have HD or are at risk of inheriting the disease from an affected parent.

A participant in six charity rides over the past four years, Amanda, daughter of Cheri and Brian Lopatin of St. Louis County, decided to host her own bike ride for Huntington’s Disease. After designing her own flyer she asked everyone she knew to distribute them and support her project.

“Hunting-Tons For A Cure Bike Ride” took place at the Creve Coeur Tremayne Shelter this past summer. The event offered two routes, with a four-mile and an 11-mile ride. Those that registered to support Amanda’s event were treated to lunch, snow cones, a T-shirt and the music of DJ Zach Dalin of ZDDJ.

“Organizing the ride was a lot of work,” said Amanda, a student at Solomon Schechter Day School. “And, I’m so glad that my mom, dad, and sister helped with everything.  Hard work it was,” she continued. In addition to designing the flyer, Amanda contacted companies and asked them to donate items for the auction at the event. There were about 65 people in attendance and 30 riders.  There were 13 auction items.  Amanda raised a total of $1,627.36 for the HDSA.

Although the bike ride is over, donations are still being accepted in honor of Amanda’s mitzvah project.  Send them to HDSA-St. Louis Chapter, 3286 Ivanhoe Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63139.