Nancy (left) attended her first Ride for Kids two weeks before her granddaughter Sarah was diagnosed.
Sunshine and smiles were everywhere you looked yesterday at the Ride for Kids events in Asheville, N.C., and Ann Arbor, Mich. The day was even brighter thanks to $168,967 in donations for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Hope runs high in Asheville
Riders flocked to the new start point for the Asheville Ride for Kids, the Western North Carolina Ag Center. The 525 participants brought $110,981 to show their support for brain tumor survivors Seth, Elijah, Hannah, Sarah, Aaron, and Julia.
These “stars” led the scenic mountain ride along with the PBTF’s new CEO, Robin Boettcher. Afterward the crowd heard from the kids, their families, and a pediatric neurosurgeon.
The PBTF’s commitment to research includes an institute at Duke University, where Dr. Gerry Grant treats many Ride for Kids stars. “The last five years have done more than the last 10 years before that, because of what this foundation has done,” Grant said. “For example, there’s a new vaccine trial [at Duke] that was created out of some seed funding [from the PBTF].”
Brain tumor research is very expensive, and every dollar raised makes a difference. Asheville’s top fundraisers were:
• Individuals: Charles & Renea Turner and Robin & Tammy Ferguson, each $7,500
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA NC-M2, $26,099
• Motorcycle business: MR Motorcycle, $24,766
• Special organization: Team Brady, $4,960
Renea Turner won the drawing for the Honda motorcycle and AGV helmet. Other prize winners were Vic Tomlin (Dunlop tire); John Mieloch (Tourmaster luggage); and Bill Greenberg (Cardo Scala Rider).
The 19th Asheville Ride for Kids was a group effort, and volunteers made it happen. Leading the team this year were Grover and Ruth Lewis and Pat Harvey. Officers from several local law enforcement agencies planned the route and escorted the ride. Save the date for the 2013 event on Sunday, Aug. 24.
Michigan ride turns 21
An enthusiastic crowd of 200 cheered brain tumor survivors Lee Ann, Andrew, Zachary, Claire, Ryan, Andrea, and John in Ann Arbor yesterday, and they brought more than applause. The 21st Michigan Ride for Kids raised $57,987 for the PBTF.
Washtenaw Community College hosted the dual sport and road ride event on a gorgeous morning. The riders toured the countryside before returning to celebrate their “stars.”
“The ride was awesome this year,” said Lee Ann. “I really want to thank the police officers. We didn’t get any tickets that I know of.”
On a serious note, one survivor’s father expressed his gratitude for the motorcyclists’ generosity. “We are totally blessed that we found Ride for Kids,” said Ryan’s dad, Daryl. “If not for the support of everyone here we would not have known what to do.”
Support comes in many forms, including financial donations. The top fundraisers in Michigan were:
• Individuals: Rob, Denni & Katie Proctor, $7,018
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA MI-W2, $6,691
• Motorcycle business: Nick’s Pro Powersports, $18,314
• Special organization: Katie’s Kruisers, $7,018
Ann Fraser won a new Honda motorcycle. Other prizes went to Steve Ickes (AGV helmet); Craig Warren (Dunlop tire); Norma Kraus (Tourmaster luggage); and Bobby Newman (Cardo Scala Rider).
Many thanks went to the dedicated volunteers who organized the Michigan ride. The task force leaders were Danny & Susan Featheringill, Sara Cortese, and Rick and Esther Keeling. Join us next time on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2013.