25th Atlanta ride raises $192,000
The Ride for Kids® went back to where it all began on June 1, raising more than $192,000 at the 25th annual Atlanta event.
Hundreds of riders and their police escort encountered severe weather along the route, but were not deterred from reaching the end point in Dahlonegha.
Brain tumor survivor Matthew with a friend at the Atlanta start point.
They were there to celebrate the lives of 12 local brain tumor survivors, including 5-year-old Ascher and Lauren, 20, a PBTF scholarship recipient. "Last year I couldn't do this," said Jessica, 18, as she walked across the stage to roaring applause.
Jessica's progress is due in large part to the efforts of Ride for Kids® fundraisers. As Dr. Claire Mazewski of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite noted, "New techniques, surgeries and therapies are being supported by your funds."
Several local television and radio personalities were in attendance, including Jocelyn Dorsey of WSB-TV, CBS-46 news anchor Bill Gaines, and the host of "Saturday Morning Garage Party" on 102.5 WAMJ Radio, Mitch Faulkner.
The Atlanta event raised a total of $192,142. The event's top individual fundraisers were Tommy and Connie Smith of Holly Springs, Ga., who turned in $23,773. GWRRA GA-R's members raised $35,130 to become the top fundraising club/chapter. The top motorcycle business was Ken's Motorcycle Tires of Woodstock, Ga., whose customers donated $36,186.
Diane Hardigree of Bishop, Ga., won the Honda motorcycle.
A huge thank-you went to the local task force, led by Tommy Smith, Bob Johnston, and Mike and Sue Malone. Together with their hardworking volunteers, they made the 25th Atlanta Ride for Kids® a truly meaningful anniversary.
Virginia First Lady Anne Holton with Richmond stars.
Richmond riders set new record
It was a spectacular Sunday morning in Richmond, Va., as 350 motorcyclists and supporters raised $122,320 at the area's sixth annual Ride for Kids®. The event smashed its previous fundraising record by 30 percent.
First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia Anne Holton was at the start point in Glen Allen for Ride for Kids® Day in Virginia. She sent the police-escorted ride on a countryside tour that finished at the Richmond Times Dispatch facility in Mechanicsville.
There the crowd honored four local brain tumor survivors as the stars of the day during the Celebration of Life program. Nicholas, 7, Denise, 14, Kevin, 16, and 19-year-old PBTF scholarship recipient Allie shared their inspirational stories and thanked everyone for their support.
More inspiration came from Dr. Duane Mitchell, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the PBTF Institute at Duke University. "Motorcyclists aren't just making a difference," he said. "You ARE the difference."
The top individual fundraisers were Mike and Travis Phillips of Richmond, who brought $23,790. Members of STAR Touring and Riding 208 turned in $29,526 to take top club/chapter honors, while Burcham's Cycles of Colonial Heights was the top motorcycle business with $25,490 in customer donations.
Mickey Strider of Bumpass, Va., won the grand-prize Honda motorcycle.
Special thanks to Richmond's dedicated volunteer task force, led by Kerry Abrams and Mike Seibert, along with visitation leader Linda Carr. They and their event volunteers put on a ride 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 8, 2008, in Cleveland, OH, Golden, CO, and San Bernardino, CA. For more information, go to www.rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.