Riders Raise $115,979 in Missouri, New England

August 20, 2012
Courtesy of Ride for Kids
Joshua delayed his next treatment by a day so he could ride in St. Louis.
Joshua delayed his next treatment by a day so he could ride in St. Louis.

Young brain tumor survivors in Missouri and Massachusetts had the time of their lives on Aug. 19 at two Ride for Kids events. Motorcyclists contributed $115,979 to support the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s medical research and family support programs. 

Stars shine in St. Louis
Early morning mist gave way to sunshine as motorcyclists gathered at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville for the 11th St. Louis Ride for Kids, which raised $60,127 for the PBTF.

The 350 participants included Izzy, Brian, Joshua, Daniel, James, Josh, Zach, Ashleigh, and Courtney. These young people were the stars of the event, and many of them led the ride through the countryside, with rolling hills and views of the Missouri River.

The brain tumor survivors also inspired the crowd with their stories of hope. “Originally, 40 percent of my tumor was removed and I was given 18 months to live,” said Courtney, 21. “Here I am five years cancer free.”

Added Dr. Joshua Rubin of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center, “It was [Mike and Dianne] Traynor’s vision that got us doing things differently, and different is what is making survival possible for our patients.”

The leading fundraisers were:
• Individuals: Andy Baum and the Mungenast Family, each $5,000
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA MO-Z, $10,546
• Motorcycle business: Niehaus Cycles, $25,926
• Special organizaton: Brian Ott’s Bikers, $5,450
David Piel won a new Honda motorcycle. Other drawing prizes went to Anthony Stratman (AGV helmet); Marty Hall (Dunlop tire); Glen Bates (Tourmaster luggage); and John Voss (Cardo Scala Rider).

The St. Louis Ride for Kids is a team effort, and this year’s volunteers were led by Greg Hoette, Norm and Angie Riekena, John and Lorrie Lehmann, Kristi Rozier, and Marty Hall. Mark your calendars now for the 2013 ride on Sunday, Aug. 18.

Ryen is known as a warrior in New England for fighting a brain tumor since infancy.
Ryen is known as a warrior in New England for fighting a brain tumor since infancy.

New England celebrates 15 years
New England motorcyclists have been riding for the PBTF for 15 years. This year they came from all over the region to Tantasqua High School in Fiskdale, Mass., with $55,852 in contributions.

Their donations help young people like Gary, Kelly, Ryen, and Amanda, who led the picturesque ride through riverside villages and townships on a fall-like morning. Afterward, the riders heard from these stars, their parents, and a doctor who treats them.

“We now think of children as survivors the minute they are diagnosed,” said Dr. Peter Manley, director of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “That’s because of the research that you have helped fund.”

The top fundraisers in New England were:
• Individual: David Odess, $18,445
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA MA-F, $21,130
• Motorcycle business: Venco Wings, $25,457
• Special organization: New Salem General Store, $3,148
David Odess won the drawing for a Honda motorcycle. Other prize winners were Fredda Cole (AGV helmet); Vladimir Giterman (Dunlop tire); Michael Bartnowski (Tourmaster luggage); and Russell Emerson (Cardo Scala Rider).

Volunteers deserve thanks for putting on a great event for the kids and participants alike. This year’s task force leaders were Shirley Dempsey, Katie Dempsey, David Odess, Ross Chapman and Vladimir Giterman. Ride with us next year on Sunday, Aug. 18.

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