Motorcyclists at Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) Ride for Kids events in Utah and Massachusetts combined over the weekend to raise $71,820 for childhood brain tumor research and family support programs.
Utah celebrates sixth year for kids
Saturday, Aug. 14 was a gorgeous day for riding in the Wasatch Mountains, as more than 200 participants at the Utah Ride for Kids could attest. They contributed $35,818 to the sixth annual event for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).
The ride began at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. From the base of Emigration Canyon, riders ascended to an elevation of 7,000 feet, with spectacular views in all directions. The end point was in the picturesque valley town of Morgan City, surrounded by historic homesteads and farms.
Eleven local brain tumor survivors joined the ride and the Celebration of Life that followed. These stars included two PBTF college scholarship recipients, Holli and Kimberly.
Jim’s mother, Melody, thanked the motorcyclists for funding life-saving research. “When our son was diagnosed [five years ago] his chance of survival was 14 percent,” she said. “His five-year chance of survival is now 75 percent thanks to new treatment options.”
Top fundraisers at the event were:
Walter & Donna Young, $7,713
GWRRA UT-H, $9,558
Fifth Gear, $9,708
Volunteers work hard all year long to organize the Utah Ride for Kids. Special thanks to this year’s team leaders, Justin and Melissa Bertuzzi and Dave and Beth Finch.
New England does it one dollar at a time
The next day in New England, supporters from around the region came to the new Ride for Kids start point in Fiskdale, Mass. The 13th annual event raised $36,002 for the PBTF.
Tantasqua Regional High School hosted a crowd of 135 on a warm, overcast morning. Four local brain tumor survivors led a scenic tour of the Berkshires before heading back for the Celebration of Life program. PBTF college scholarship recipient An was joined on stage by Caitlyn, Kelley and Ryen.
Ride for Kids participants fund the research that makes these children’s survival stories possible, said Dr. Nicole Ullrich, a neuro-oncologist at Children's Hospital in Boston. “With the economy the way it is, every dollar you raise is even more important,” she said. “Your dollar could be the one that finds the cure.”
This year’s leading fundraisers were:
Dave Odess and Perry Robertson, $8,330
GWRRA MA-F, $9,045
Venco Wings, $18,851
The New England Ride for Kids was put together by a terrific group of volunteers, led by Shirley Dempsey-Anderson, Wayne Anderson, Dave Odess, and Ron and Cheryl Hrasna.