From Southern California to Northeast Florida, motorcyclists rode yesterday with one goal in mind: find a cure for childhood brain tumors. Dual sport riders in San Bernardino, Calif., joined forces with road riders in Jacksonville, Fla., to help do just that, raising $75,234 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).
SoCal dualies crank up for the kids
Ride for Kids stars Brandon, Katherine, Bryan are all smiles in San Bernardino.
The Southern California Dual Sport Ride for Kids is unique to our events, offering riders a day-long trek through the San Bernardino National Forest. On April 22, 300 participants met at dawn at Glen Helen Raceway
with $51,248 in contributions to the 20th annual event.
Before the ride began, everyone enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast and heard from the kids they support. These “stars” were local brain tumor survivors Katherine, Brandon and Bryan.
“I look forward to this ride every year, riding with all of my friends out here,” said Bryan, who has taken his own dirt bike on the event for the past three years.
Pediatric brain tumor research made that achievement possible. However, Dr. Alex Zouros, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center, reminded everyone that there’s more work to be done.
“We’ve come very far with our research, but the fact is we still need great people like you raising money for research,” Zouros said. “We can live after transplanting a heart, or kidney, but we can’t transplant a brain.”
The event’s top fundraisers were:
• Individual: Jon Bruno, $7,600
• Motorcycle club/chapter: Orange County Dualies, $15,365
• Non-motorcycle group: Cody Waters Foundation, $5,000
• Motorcycle business: Simi Valley Honda
Donated Ride for Kids drawing prizes went to Richard Clark (Honda motorcycle); Matt Dixon (AGV
helmet); Dan Neely (Dunlop tire); Jon Bruno (Tourmaster luggage); and Greg Ashforth (Cardo Scala Rider).
This event is made possible with the support of AMA District 37 Dual Sport and the U.S. Forest Service, as well as the hard work of the local task force. This year’s team was led by Jim and Roberta Woods, Kieth Huff, Buddy Percin, and Paul Flanders.
Riding for a reason in Northeast Florida
Jacksonville brain tumor survivors Megan and Brycen can’t wait for their sidecar ride to begin.
Jacksonville motorcyclists braved rain at their fourth Ride for Kids event, coming out in spite of the weather to bring $23,986 in donations.
After a ride through the countryside north of the city, they returned to Florida State College to hear brain tumor survivors Brycen, Megan, Haley, Stefan, and William talk about their lives.
“I thank everyone for coming out and helping today,” said Stefan. Riders were also inspired by 5-year-old Megan’s mother, Brandi, who said, “To the day I die I will keep fighting so we can find a cure.”
That fight helps researchers like Dr. Daniel Indelicato of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, who pointed out another benefit of the event. “This ride provides the emotional support for the families,” he reminded the crowd.
Every penny raised makes a difference to children fighting brain tumors. In Jacksonville, the leading fundraisers were:
• Individuals: Ted & Julie Batchelder, $4,013
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA FL-1V, $7,275
• Non-motorcycle group: Stephanie Gilmore Memorial, $4,013
• Motorcycle business: Honda of Jacksonville, $6,620
Donated Ride for Kids drawing prizes went to Leevon White (Honda motorcycle); Billy Starling (AGV helmet); Gary Pickle (Dunlop tire); Bill Darnell (Tourmaster
luggage); and Linda Walser (Cardo
The local task force worked hard all year to make this ride happen. Special thanks to Charlie and Donna Jackson, Dave and Lee Howell, Tom and Sharon Wiltfang, Bill Darnell, Chris Thacker, and the rest of the volunteer team.
About the PBTF Ride for Kids
Ride for Kids supports the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) by funding medical research and family support programs. We thank our presenting sponsor, Honda Riders Club of America, and our national insurance sponsor, GEICO. The Houston Ride for Kids event is coming up on Sunday, April 29, followed by rides in Los Angeles and the Triangle area of North Carolina on May 6. Learn more at www.rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.