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Los Angeles, Triangle Ride for Kids Events Combine to Raise $401,000

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Los Angeles revs up for the kids
The 17th annual Los Angeles Ride for Kids® raised $263,192, topping its previous record by more than $16,000.

The 900 participants met at American Honda Motor Co. headquarters on a bright, sunny morning before the riders and their patient family passengers departed on a coastline-hugging tour of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Fifteen Ride for Kids "stars" were honored during the Celebration of Life program. Younger patients like Regina and Alex, 8, joined older survivors like Amanda, 21, on stage to give fundraisers a glimpse into what it's like to fight a brain tumor.

"I have the best job today," said Kathy Riley, mother of 20-year-old Peter. "I get to thank all of you riders who have been there for us."

Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein and Dr. Jonathan Finlay of the PBTF Institute at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles spoke about the importance of brain tumor research.

Bill Boyer of Lomita was the event's top individual fundraiser with $38,826. Members of the Honda Employees' Rider's Club turned in $54,895 to earn the top chapter/club spot, and the top motorcycle business was L.A. Honda with $21,867 in customer donations.

The grand prize, a new Honda motorcycle, went to Kelly Byrne of North Hollywood.

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10-year-old Mark rode in the Los Angeles event in memory of his sister, Maddie.

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Brain tumor patient Hannah, 7, smiles before the Triangle ride.

Huge thanks went to L.A.'s hardworking task force, led by visitation leader Louis Vanderveen, Jeniffer McMullen, Steven Squire and Brian Tinkler. Together with their event volunteers, they made this a ride to remember.

Record ride for Triangle Area
A few hours earlier near Pittsboro, N.C., the Triangle Area Ride for Kids® celebrated its fifth anniversary with $138,280 in donations for the PBTF, a 34 percent increase over its previous best.
 
Brain tumor patient Hannah, 7, smiles before the Triangle ride.

Sunny Lake Jordan State Park hosted 675 participants, and the scenic ride looped around the lake and historic Chatham County Courthouse.

When the riders returned, they were welcomed to the Celebration of Life program by Darth Vader and a cadre of storm troopers, much to the amusement of the eight ride "stars."

The fundraisers honored these brave youngsters, as well as the memory of those no longer with us.

"As a parent who has lost a child, I know how important the work being done is," said Janet Moore. "We were able to have 10 extra years with our son [Bryan] because of you."

Special guests included Dr. Gerry Grant of the PBTF Institute at Duke University and Bill Fitzgerald of Raleigh/Durham NBC-17.

The No. 1 individual fundraiser was "Star Wars" movie poster artist Tommy Lee Edwards of Pittsboro, who turned in $9,365. Members of Raleigh H.O.G. gave $33,037 to take top chapter/club honors, while the customers of Ray Price Harley-Davidson donated $33,377 to make it the top motorcycle business.

Steve Lawson of Camden, N.C., won the grand prize, a new Honda motorcycle.

Big thanks go to Triangle's task force, led by Rod and Maxine Gilvey, Richard and Linda Berner, and visitation leader Roland Cargill. They and their event volunteers worked tirelessly to make their ride one for the record books.
About the PBTF Ride for Kids®

Since 1984, the national Ride for Kids® program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) have promoted childhood brain tumor research and provided family support through free literature about brain tumors, educational newsletters, online conferences and college scholarships. With the help of America's motorcycling community, the PBTF has become the world's largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research.

The 25th PBTF Ride for Kids® season continues on Sunday, June 1, 2008, in Atlanta and Richmond. For more information, go to www.rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.

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