MOTORCYCLISTS JOINED Ride for Kids events in Asheville, N.C., and Ann Arbor, Mich., over the weekend to raise more than $152,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Proceeds benefit medical research and family support programs.
More than 600 motorcyclists and supporters gathered for the 14th annual Asheville Ride for Kids. The police-escorted ride went from Asheville's Biltmore Square Mall, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and through the township of Lake Lure to the Celebration of Life program.
The stars of the day were 13 young brain tumor patients and three adult survivors. From 7-year-old Abbie to PBTF scholarship recipient Matthew, 20, the kids had a wonderful time. "It's not just about the fundraising," Hannah, 16, told the crowd. "You're raising awareness of this disease."
Dr. Darell Bigner, head of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke University, spoke passionately about the importance of private research funding. "We have more research tools now than in the entire history of cancer research," he said, thanking the motorcyclists for making that possible.
The Aug. 26 event raised $95,272. The top individual fundraisers were Barbara and Ed Apelian of Charlotte, N.C., with $6,730. Members of GWRRA Chapter M2 of Hendersonville, N.C., turned in $12,932 to make it the top club, and the top dealer was MR Motorcycle of Asheville with $8,235. Denise Mathers of Hendersonville won the grand prize, a brand new Honda motorcycle.
Special thanks went to the event volunteers and hardworking local task force, led by Peter Hartwick and visitation leader Pat Whitaker.
Ann Arbor's 16th annual Ride for Kids event the same day at Washtenaw Community College attracted more than 350 people and raised over $57,000 for the PBTF.
The Michigan Ride for Kids is a road ride and dual sport event. From rolling, wooded trails along the Huron River to wide open farmland roads, the event offered something for everyone.
The Celebration of Life included nine brain tumor patients sharing their stories,including 3-year-old Maxwell and Ruth, 24.