Ride for Kids events give children with brain tumors a chance to leave their troubles behind for a few hours and enjoy the freedom of a motorcycle ride. They also raise money to help cure the kids. Motorcyclists in Washington, Alabama and Indiana gave generously on Sept. 9, bringing $192,951 in donations for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
20 years of helping kids in Puget Sound
Puget Sound star Skyler poses with members of the Seattle Cossacks stunt riders.
Puget Sound may be overcast much of the year, but there’s nothing cloudy about its support for children with brain tumors. Yesterday’s Ride for Kids, the area’s 20th, raised $78,057 for the PBTF.
Close to 300 people met at Remlinger Farms in Carnation, Wash., to ride with Judah, Andrew, Skyler, Claire, Allison, Nick, Anthony and Eric. Along the way they enjoyed beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier.
When they returned to Remlinger Farms, the stars talked about their dreams and goals. “I want a stronger career so I can come back and help these kids,” said Anthony, now an adult. Added Andrew, 16, “Ride for Kids is a chance to get rid of this disease.”
Doctors like Richard Ellenbogen of the University of Washington School of Medicine and Harborview Medical Center are working hard to just that. “We are not going to stop until we find a cure and make the survivors' lives better,” he told the crowd.
Motorcyclists across the country are leading the fundraising efforts to make a cure possible. In Puget Sound top honors went to:
• Individuals: Ken Watson, Mark McDowell & Nick Konkler, $7,307
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWTA WA-C, $19,655
• Motorcycle business: Everett Powersports, $19,172
• Special organization: VFW Chapter 3, $90
Also attending the ride were two members of 24T Racing, Arnold Nufer and Steve Skeels. Their team is raising funds for the PBTF by attempting to break the world record for the 24-hour speed record on a 500cc motorcycle, last set in 1961.
Ride for Kids fundraisers are eligible for great drawing prizes, including a new Honda CBR250R
won by James Young. Other prizes went to Ron West (AGV helmet); Mike Tennyson (Dunlop tire); Mark Angeles (Tourmaster luggage); and James Wartchow (Cardo Scala Rider).
The Puget Sound Ride for Kids was organized by local volunteers, led by Clarine and Eddie Dunn, Mike Tennyson, and Mary Rairdin. Join us next time on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2013.
Birmingham rides to save lives
PBTF scholarship recipient Michael (left) is ready to take off in Birmingham.
A cool, clear Alabama morning greeted the 400 participants at the Birmingham Ride for Kids at Barber Motorsports Park
in Leeds. The event raised $71,451 to help young people like Matt, Karissa, Zachary, Michael, Bayleigh, Jon Michael, and Molly.
These heroes led a beautiful ride on lovely, canopied backroads past farms and historic homes, followed by several laps around Barber’s world-class race track. Later the riders heard from the brain tumor survivors, as well as the mother of a child who didn’t make it.
Said Gene Ann, who lost her daughter Avery Ann four years ago, “Knowledge and research are the key to finding something that works and helps our children, and that takes time and money.”
The first-place fundraisers in Birmingham were:
• Individual: Phil Phillips, $10,671
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA AL-A, $3,500
• Motorcycle business: Cycle World of Gadsden, $10,671
• Special organization: Team Bayleigh, $11,640
Donated drawing prizes went to Kim Nicholas (Honda motorcycle); Don Ryan (AGV helmet); Clark Shepherd (Dunlop tire); Steve Windham (Tourmaster luggage); and Bill Smith (Cardo Scala Rider).
Volunteers are at the heart of the Birmingham ride. This year’s event organizers were Stacy Ashby, Greg Harrelson, and Tim and Carmen Anders. Mark your calendar now for the next ride on Sept. 7, 2013.
Indianapolis revs up support
Hannah is one of the many reasons we ride in Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Ride for Kids raised $43,443 yesterday, an 82 percent increase over last year’s total.
The event honored brain tumor survivors Grace, Hannah, Katie, Sara, Karma, Ginny, and Lindy, whose struggles inspired the crowd of 200 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After a scenic tour of the city outskirts, the riders returned for a lap around the speedway and a celebratory program.
Motorcyclists make a huge difference, said Dr. Laurie Ackerman, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Indiana University Health. “All of you are really moving the field of pediatric brain tumor research forward,” she said. “You give these families hope.”
The program also honored the event’s top fundraisers, including 6-year-old star Grace, who brought over $5,000 in donations. The leaders were:
• Individuals: Rex & Kathy Harrold, $10,750
• Motorcycle club/chapter: Tuesday Night Bikers $11,211
• Motorcycle business: Dreyer Honda, $12,212
• Special organization: Ride for Bri, $8,605
Tom Whalen won a new Honda motorcycle. Other donated drawing prizes went to Jerry Carroll (AGV helmet); Rex Harrold (Dunlop
tire); Everett Brown (Tourmaster luggage); and Bruce McLeish (Cardo Scala Rider).
The 2012 Indianapolis Ride for Kids task force was led by Steve and Angie McQueen, Rex and Kathy Harrold, Jim and Patsy Gibson, and Debbie Hufferd, with help from a multitude of volunteers. Plan now for the next ride on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2013.