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Riders Support Kids With Brain Tumors

Monday, August 6, 2012
Generosity runs deep in the hearts of motorcyclists, none more so than when they’re riding for a cause. Ride for Kids events in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania gave them a great opportunity to help kids with brain tumors yesterday. The three events combined to raise $209,548 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). 

Abbie gets ready for her first Wisconsin Ride for Kids.
Abbie gets ready for her first Wisconsin Ride for Kids.
Wisconsin takes the gold
Aug. 5 was a perfect riding day in Middleton, Wis., where the ninth local Ride for Kids brought in $83,035 for the PBTF.

The loop ride from Firemen’s Park honored brain tumor survivors Paul, Anthony, Bailey, Kaitlin, Tyler, Jacob, Fischer, McKenna, Jenna, and Dayna. Many of them led the ride through the countryside before returning for a celebratory program.
 
The crowd of 300 gave star Bailey a gold medalist’s ovation when she said she had returned from a trip to the London Olympics just so she could turn in the $1,500 she had raised.

The riders also heard from pediatric neurosurgeons Taryn Bragg and Andrew Foy. “We want kids to survive and thrive,” said Dr. Foy. “The money you raise goes to critical research to help that happen.”

The highest-placing fundraisers were:
• Individuals: Randy and Pam Gulseth, $11,102
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA WI-J, $13,652
• Motorcycle business: Pro Motor Sports, $11,776
• Special organization: Warrior Watch, $2,877
 
The donated drawing prizes went to Wayne Baetsen (Honda motorcycle); Gloria Resch (AGV helmet); Shawn McCord (Dunlop tire); Patrick Williams (Tourmaster luggage); and Mary Schwartzlow (Cardo Scala Rider).
 
Many thanks went to the dedicated volunteers who worked so hard on this year’s ride. The task force leaders were Sue Frish, Joe Bentz, Marcella Newell, Randy Gulseth, Mike Witt, Angela Witt and Scott Carviou. Join us next year on Sunday, Aug. 4.

Hudson Valley star Amanda is ready to roll.
Hudson Valley star Amanda is ready to roll.
20 years of helping kids in Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley Ride for Kids roared into its 20th year with $80,716 in donations for the PBTF.

Of the more than 600 people in attendance, the six most important were Molly, Ashley, James, Megan, Amanda, and Katie. These brain tumor survivors led the scenic ride from the elementary school in Central Valley on a warm, sunny morning.

These young people reminded the motorcyclists that they’re riding for a reason. “The research and vision of the foundation has helped doctors … literally save my daughter’s life,” said 10-year-old Molly’s mom, Patricia.

Dr. James Garvin, who treats Molly and several of the other stars, was also on hand to thank the riders for their help.
 
The leading fundraisers in Hudson Valley were:
• Individuals: Jon Ford, $11,450
• Motorcycle club/chapter: Empire H.O.G., $14,657
• Motorcycle business: Empire Harley-Davidson, $13,407
• Special organization: Ride for Liam, $9,535
 
Winners of the drawing prizes were Desiree Tobin (Honda motorcycle); Paul Priesel (AGV helmet); Jon Ford (Dunlop tire); Rigo Toro (Tourmaster luggage); and Brian Wolfson (Cardo Scala Rider).
 
Jack Jones, Liz Jones and Mark Perillo led this year’s Hudson Valley Ride for Kids task force, with the assistance of many committed volunteers. Get ready to ride with them again in 2013 on Sunday, Aug. 4.

Macy and Julie take the stage in Pittsburgh.
Macy and Julie take the stage in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh rallies in the rain
Determined motorcyclists braved rainstorms to participate in the 12th Pittsburgh Ride for Kids, which raised $45,797 for the PBTF.
 
They came to support children like Julie and Macy, who have weathered worse storms during the course of their treatment for brain tumors.

Starting at the Home Depot in Cranberry Township, the ride took back roads to its destination, Slippery Rock University. There the 125 participants heard from the stars and from Dr. Kim Forester of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.

“Everyone is here so all the kids will be free of this disease,” Forester said. “I’ve pledged my life to make this happen. Thanks to all of you for helping with this effort.”

Leading the fundraising efforts in Pittsburgh were:
• Individual: Laura Ebbert and Anonymous, each $5,000
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA PA-D, $11,086
• Motorcycle business: Bob McChesney Motors, $19,347
• Special organization: BCD Travel, $415

The donated drawing prizes were won by: Lou Adrian (Honda motorcycle); Alan Cowfer (AGV helmet); Amanda Paulson (Dunlop tire); Darlene Ammerman (Tourmaster luggage); and Kenneil Miller (Cardo Scala Rider).
 
The Pittsburgh Ride for Kids is made possible by countless volunteers and local supporters. This year’s team was led by Mike and Darlene Ammerman, Alan and Ellie Cowfer, Gordon Snyder, and Laura Ebbert. Next year’s ride will be on Sunday, Aug. 4.
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