Ride for Kids events in California, Texas and Nevada raised more than $341,000 yesterday for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Sacramento tops $108,000
More than 250 riders and supporters in California's capital city met in Woodland for the 16th annual Sacramento Ride for Kids®, which raised $108,295 for the PBTF.
The beautiful morning was perfect for a police-escorted ride through northern California's "Gold Country." Back at the Yolo County Fairgrounds, the Celebration of Life program honored 14 local brain tumor patients, including 3-year-old Liliana and Darren, 11.
Survivor Jamie, 20, got a standing ovation when her letter was read that said, "Thanks to new treatments, I have already surpassed the estimated time of survival by six years."
Dr. Sam Ciricillo, a pediatric neurosurgeon with the Sutter Neuroscience Medical Group, also spoke to the group.
The top individual fundraisers once again this year were Ann and Kirk Harry of El Dorado Hills, Calif., who raised $25,065 in memory of their son Sam. Capital City Wings, GWRRA CA-C of Sacramento, was the top club/chapter with $34,031 raised, and with $29,986, the top motorcycle business was Malott's Honda of Manteca.
The grand prize Honda motorcycle went to Chuck Gillingham of Witter Springs, Calif.
Special thanks went to the local Ride for Kids® task force and event volunteers, led by Lillian and Jack Cushman, Kathy and Jon Carlson, and Steve Long.
DFW riders raise $135,000
The sixth annual Dallas/Fort Worth Ride for Kids® continues raised $135,000, an 18 percent increase over last year's announced total.
A sunny morning greeted the crowd of 500 motorcyclists and supporters gathered at Grapevine Mills Mall. The riders and their police escort left the metropolitan area for the countryside, enjoying rural scenery before returning for the powerful Celebration of Life program.
Seven Ride for Kids® stars, including 2-year-old Josephine and Cassie, 5, were on stage to talk about their lives. Said Carson, 16, "I can't imagine all of you doing this. Thank you for helping kids with brain tumors."
The program also honored the memory of young Trinity Bright, who died last year at age 7 before she could attend a Ride for Kids® event. Her parents, Angel and John, and their friend Jamie Mancini, held a memorial walk/run to raise funds for the PBTF. They donated more than $15,000 at the ride.
Top individual fundraisers were Gary and Julie Touchstone of Colleyville, who brought $21,888. The top club/chapter was HRCA Maxim Honda of Allen, Texas, with $30,090 in donations. Maxim Honda customers donated a total of $39,043 to give it the top motorcycle business spot. Jasmine Khan of Waco won the grand prize Honda motorcycle.
A heartfelt thanks went to the local Ride for Kids® task force and event volunteers, led by Gary and Julie Touchstone, Jeff Latimer, Fetch Daniel, and Shane and Pam Sutton.
Las Vegas riders hit jackpot
The fourth annual Las Vegas Ride for Kids® saw a 78 percent increase over last year's event, raising $98,370 for the PBTF on Oct. 5.
Gorgeous weather greeted the 550 motorcyclists and supporters at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A police escort led the riders to Blue Diamond, Nev., passing the stunning Red Rock Canyon and desert mountains along the way.
Eight local brain tumor survivors were honored as Ride for Kids "stars" during the Celebration of Life program. The fundraisers heard from them all, including 4-year-old Brooke, Tobin, 16, and two PBTF scholarship recipients, Alex and Devin.
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Jonathan Bernstein thanked the motorcyclists for their hard work. "Without your generosity these research grants would not be available and a lot of the new treatments would not have been developed," he said.
Top fundraiser honors went to Heinz and Lisa Lauer of Las Vegas, who raised $17,237. The Desert Riders Club was the top chapter/club with $17,493, and the customers of Carter Powersports of Las Vegas made it the top motorcycle dealer with $35,630 in contributions. The grand prize Honda motorcycle went to Heinz Lauer.
A big thank-you went to the 2008 task force leaders, Charli and Dave Carter, Tammy and Ron Palmer, and Susan Clift, along with their terrific volunteers.
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, Oct. 12, in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, go to rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.