August got off to a great start for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, with Ride for Kids events in Wisconsin and New York combining to raise $198,570.
Wisconsin Leads the Way
On Ride for Kids Day in Wisconsin, over 400 riders and other supporters raised $103,446 for the PBTF. Blue skies and sunshine greeted the crowd at Fireman’s Park in Middleton for the seventh annual event.
Twelve local brain tumor survivors — six of them PBTF college scholarship recipients — joined the fun. The two-hour ride took them past scenic farmland before returning for the Celebration of Life program.
Riders heard from many of the stars, including 9-year-old Carlos and Bailey, 15. Richard, the father of Lauren, said, “We didn’t expect the care and generosity of strangers who give up their time to be here. We look forward to seeing all of you next year.”
Dr. Diane M. Puccetti of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health was also on hand to talk about the importance of research.
That research is made possible by fundraisers all over the country. In Wisconsin, the top contributors were:
: Dennis & Gloria Resch, $9,145
: Sandy & Sam’s Memorial Ride, $14,356
• Motorcycle Business
: Pro Motor Sports of Wausau, $14,895
The Wisconsin Ride for Kids is a group effort, and this year’s event was organized by a great team of volunteers, led by Joe Bentz, Angela Witt, Mike Witt, Keri Hall, Marcella Newell and Randy Gulseth.
Strong Support in Hudson Valley
Ride for Kids has been coming to the Hudson Valley region of New York for 18 years, and support from area motorcyclists is strong. This year more than 500 people came to the event in Central Valley, raising $95,124 for the PBTF.
Five families affected by brain tumors joined the ride on a beautiful sunny morning. The “stars” included Amanda, James, first-time rider Carlo and PBTF scholarship recipient Katelyn. After touring the scenic byways of the Catskills, the group returned to Central Valley Elementary School for the Celebration of Life.
The program gave the motorcyclists the opportunity to hear from the children they were riding to help, as well as parents and a brain tumor researcher.
Said Dr. James Garvin of New York Presbyterian, the University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, “With research you see all of the red lights, but seeing how hard all of you work makes us zip through the red lights to find the cure to this horrible disease.”
The leading fundraisers were:
: Jon & Valerie Ford, $21,000
: Ride for Liam, $13,575
• Motorcycle Business
: New Rochelle Harley-Davidson, $12,649
The Hudson Valley Ride for Kids is organized by a hardworking group of volunteers, led this year by Jack Jones, Liz Jones, Mark Perillo and Jon Ford.