New York, Wisconsin Ride for Kids® Events Top $245,000 Over Weekend
August started off with a bang for the the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Ride for Kids® program, with events in New York and Wisconsin raising more than $245,000.
New York riders crank it up
The 16th annual Hudson Valley Ride for Kids® on Sunday, Aug. 3, was a big win for kids with brain tumors. The event raised $144,915, a 23 percent increase over last year's announced total.
More than 650 participants turned out at Central Valley Elementary School on a sunny, breezy morning. The scenic ride took the motorcyclists and their police escort through the foothills of the Catskill Mountains before returning to the school for the Celebration of Life program.
The program honored eight local brain tumor survivors, including 4-year-old Robert, who enthusiastically thanked the crowd, and Devon, 5, who is starting kindergarten this fall.
Dr. James Garvin, a pediatric oncologist at the Children's Hospital of New York, told the fundraisers that their efforts make a huge difference in these kids' lives.
Patricia Kimball of Rivervale, N.J., mother of 6-year-old survivor Molly, raised $22,235 to be the top individual fundraiser. "Our life is different now, but we celebrate it every day," she said.
Ride for Liam of Suffern, N.Y., raised $20,665 to take top club/chapter honors, while the customers of Bergen County (N.J.) Harley-Davidson contributed $6,600 to make it the top motorcycle business. James Boonstra of Buchanan, N.Y. won the grand prize drawing for a Honda motorcycle.
Heartfelt thanks went to the ride's dedicated task force and event volunteers, led by Jack Jones and Walter and Linda Buchanan.
Wisconsin motorcyclists give big
The Wisconsin Ride for Kids® continues to thrive, raising $102,570 yesterday to smash its previous fundraising record.
More than 400 participants, including 10 local brain tumor survivors and their families, gathered at Fireman's Park in Middleton for the fifth annual event. Everyone cheered as the riders and their police escort left the park for a tour of farming communities in southern Wisconsin.
When they returned, the inspirational Celebration of Life program got underway. Many of the children, including Noah, 9, and Lauren, 19, a PBTF scholarship recipient, shared their personal stories.
The fundraisers also heard from Dr. Wade Mueller, professor of neurosurgery at Medical College of Wisconsin. "The federal government is continually reducing its funding of great causes," he said. "The PBTF stands out as an organization that assures the patient families that the funding for research will continue."
The Wisconsin governor's office also proclaimed Aug. 3 Ride for Kids® Day statewide.
Randy and Pam Gulseth of Two Rivers, Wis., were top individual fundraisers with $11,436 in donations. The top club/chapter was GWRRA WI-J with $15,445, and Ace Power Sports of Kenosha turned in $11,478 to be top motorcycle business. Louise Schueller of DeForest, Wis., won the Honda motorcycle drawing.
Special thanks went to the ride's hardworking task force and event volunteers, led by Joe Bentz, Mike Witt and Tim Schueller, and visitation leaders Merle Coggins and Randy Gulseth.
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, Aug. 10, in Pittsburgh. For more information, go to rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.