Riders in Arizona and California brought $120,348 to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride for Kids events on Oct. 21. The donations benefit medical research and family support programs for children with brain tumors.
Phoenix ride tops $65,000
Ellie, Keegan, Matthew, Leslie, Rosalena, Gaites, Steve, Riley and Sierra were the stars of the 16th Phoenix Ride for Kids, which raised $65,103.
More than 225 motorcyclists and other supporters came to Desert Ridge High School in Mesa to cheer on the brain tumor survivors. The group’s sunny ride included a tour around Saguaro Lake.
When they returned, the riders heard from the stars and Sierra’s father, Pat. “You don’t realize how important this research is until you need it,” he said. “Thank you for everything you do for all of us.”
Dr. Ratan Bhardwaj, a neurosurgeon at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, agreed that research is essential.
The PBTF leads the way in non-governmental funding for childhood brain tumor research, thanks to contributions from motorcyclists. The top fundraisers in Phoenix were:
• Individual: Mark Tkach, $33,433
• Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA AZ-A, $4,507
• Motorcycle business: RideNow Powersports, $33,433
• Special organization: Chandler Rotary Club, $750
A new Honda motorcycle went to Michael Louchery (Honda motorcycle). Other prize winners were Dave Gormley (AGV helmet), Sandra Gaston (Dunlop tire), Ron Penner (Tourmaster luggage) and David Hewitt (Cardo Scala Rider).
Allen and Janet Ingersoll and Bunny Rasmussen led the volunteers who organized the Phoenix Ride for Kids. The 2013 ride is set for Sunday, Oct. 20 at a new location, Higley High School in Gilbert.
San Diego rallies in the rain
Cool, rainy weather didn’t stop the eighth San Diego Ride for Kids from rolling forward yesterday. Participants turned in $55,245 in donations to help young people like Giovanni, Alyssa, Johana, David and Steven.
Many of these stars joined the crowd at MiraCosta College in Cardiff and went on the ride along the ocean and through lush inland valleys.
Back at the college, 10-year-old Alyssa said, “I know we’re going to find a cure. Your loving care and support shows that.”
The riders also heard from Dr. John Crawford, director of pediatric neuro-oncology at Rady’s Children’s Specialists and UCSD. Other VIPs in attendance were Lake Elsinore Storm mascot Thunder, Robert Santos and Chris Murphy of Channel 10 news, and 17-year-old road racer Ben Truslow, a longtime supporter of the PBTF Ride for Kids.
Earlier this year, Truslow sustained a severe head injury in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Despite this setback, he continued to raise funds for the PBTF, and he and his family were at the head of the San Diego Ride for Kids fundraising leaderboard:
• Individuals: Ben, John and Mary Truslow, $12,102
• Motorcycle club/chapter: Spyder Ryders of San Diego, $5,675
• Motorcycle business: Biggs Harley-Davidson/Buell, $8,663
• Special organization: Team David Kaufman, $9,366
John Truslow won the drawing for a new Honda motorcycle. Other drawing prizes went to Lou Gutowski (AGV helmet), David Herrera (Dunlop tire), Jimmy Still (Tourmaster luggage) and Gordon Cress (Cardo Scala Rider).
The ride’s volunteer leaders were Gary Magee, Christian McCart and Miriam Kaufman. Next year’s ride is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20.