Motorcyclists at Ride for Kids events in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania gave children with brain tumors 251,958 reasons to hope yesterday, raising that much in funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
A big win in Wisconsin
Fischer takes his own photos at the Wisconsin ride.
The brightest smiles in Wisconsin yesterday were at Fireman’s Park in Middleton, where 300 riders and Ride for Kids supporters raised $101,398 for the PBTF.
Heavy rains cleared just before the area’s eighth annual ride departed. Twelve young brain tumor survivors—Anthony, Bailey, Jacob, Fischer, Sarah, Kelly, McKenna, Paul, Kaitlin, Tyler, Lauren, and Jenna—led the way.
The crowd heard from these “stars” and some of their parents during the Celebration of Life program after the ride. Tyler’s mother, Lori, said, “We are so grateful for all you do to help us."
The Wisconsin Ride for Kids honored the leading fundraisers in three categories:
• Individuals: Randy and Pam Gulseth, $10,208
• Club/Chapter: GWRRA WI-J, $12,408
• Motorcycle Business: Customers of Nielsen Enterprises, $11,822
The donated drawing prizes went to Gloria Resch (Honda
motorcycle); Barb Ols (Dunlop tire); Keith Caulk (AGV helmet); Gary Ramey (Tourmaster luggage); and Richard Couillard (Cardo Systems
A big thank-you went to the outstanding volunteers who organized this event. This year’s task force leaders were Joe Bentz, Angela Witt, Mike Witt, Keri Hall, Marcella Newell, Sue Frish, and Randy Gulseth. Please join us on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, for the next Wisconsin Ride for Kids.
Connecting to a cause in New York state
Hudson Valley star James speaks to the crowd.
Now in its 19th year, the Hudson Valley Ride for Kids attracts riders from around the region. This year they brought $101,070 in contributions to benefit the PBTF.
Those donations fund research that helps young people like Amanda, James, Molly, Katelyn, Ashley, and Carlo, the "stars" of the Hudson Valley event.
Many of these brain tumor survivors joined the ride through the Catskills and spoke during the Celebration of Life program afterward. They gave the riders a connection to the cause, as did Dr. James Garvin of New York Presbyterian, the University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell.
Using the cloudy day as an example, Garvin said, "When a child is diagnosed a huge black cloud appears. Then breakthroughs in a diagnosis are like a ray of sunshine and you recognize that a cure is on the horizon."
Fundraisers make those breakthroughs possible. The highest achievers at the Hudson Valley ride were:
• Individuals: Jon and Valerie Ford, $31,356
• Club/Chapter: Ride for Liam, $8,137
• Motorcycle Business: Bergen County Harley-Davidson, $16,994
Donated drawing prizes went to Renee Doolittle (Honda motorcycle); Paul Priesel (Dunlop
tire), John Lusk (AGV helmet); Bill Franks (Tourmaster luggage); and William Michael (Cardo Systems headset).
The Hudson Valley Ride for Kids was organized by a dedicated group of volunteers, led this year by Jack Jones, Liz Jones, Mark Perillo, and Jon Ford. Mark your calendars now for next year's ride, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 5.
Pittsburgh never gives up
Julie and her family in Pittsburgh.
Rain didn’t put a damper on Pittsburgh’s 11th Ride for Kids, which raised $49,490 for the PBTF.
The ride began at the Home Depot in Cranberry Township, quickly leaving the city behind and taking country roads to Slippery Rock University.
The 300 participants came to honor local brain tumor survivors Zachary, Allyson, Julie, Nicole, Macy, Christina, Lindy, and Patrick. Many of these young people spoke during the post-ride program.
Ten-year-old Julie said to her mother, “You never gave up. Our family never gave up.” Turning to the crowd, she said, “So you never give up.”
Pittsburgh’s fundraisers take that advice to heart each year. The leaders in 2011 were:
• Individual: Larry Coffield, $5,390
• Club/Chapter: GWRRA PA-D, $10,023
• Motorcycle Business: Customers of Zanotti Motor Co., $8,300
The donated drawing prizes were won by: Forrest Statler (Honda motorcycle); Joe Dreskewicz (Dunlop tire); Roy Hoak (AGV
helmet); Danny and Beth Hildebrand (Tourmaster
luggage); and Pat Troia (Cardo Systems headset).
Pittsburgh’s hardworking volunteers were led by Mike and Darlene Ammerman, Gordon Snyder, Linda Eaves, and Laura Ebbert. Next year’s ride will be on Sunday, Aug. 5.