Councilman’s bicycle trip benefits Blue Ribbons 4 Justice

Shawn Hardy
Greencastle Borough Councilman Matthew Smith will raise money for the child abuse prevention organization Blue Ribbons 4 Justice during a bicycle ride from Greencastle to Las Vegas.

Every spring Bob Spessard of Blue Ribbons 4 Justice places blue ribbons on parking meters in downtown Greencastle during National Child Abuse Prevention Month with the approval of Greencastle Bough Council.

Now, the organization Spessard and his wife, Michelle, created following the child abuse death of their 4 1/2-month-old grandson, Justice, on Jan. 6. 2007, is getting extra help from a borough councilman.

Matthew Smith is accepting donations for Blue Ribbons 4 Justice in conjunction with a three-week bicycle ride from Greencastle to Las Vegas. He will leave Oct. 15 and noted his route will take him through Greencastle, Indiana.

“God bless him. He’s something else,” Spessard said at Monday’s council meeting, adding it is awesome Smith will raise awareness and money in the fight against child abuse.

“He’s got guts,” Spessard said, pointing out Smith plans to do the 2,500-mile ride unassisted, carrying his own tubes and tires.

Smith said as he was thinking about the ride, he thought he could turn it into a benefit and contacted Blue Ribbons 4 Justice. He noted First Data, where he is a manager, approved an extra week off for the ride.

“I’ll get to help someone, do something I’ve wanted to do and push myself,” Smith said. He’s always been a runner, but did some biking as well.

Smith’s been preparing for a couple of months, but admitted he is still “scared to death.”

He has his route planned out, is going to wing some of the logistics and will fly home from Las Vegas. People can live track his travels through his feed on Facebook.

For information on donating, visit; email; or call 301-992-6871.