Children with brain tumors were championed by motorcyclists at Ride for Kids® events in Philadelphia and St. Louis yesterday. These riders raised $239,302 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF).
Philadelphia shows how it’s done
Motorcyclists brought $130,042 to the sixth annual Philadelphia Ride for Kids® Sept. 19, bringing smiles to match the sunny skies. The total was 7 percent higher than the previous year.
The ride began at the IMAX Theatre at King of Prussia Mall, then traveled to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. The crowd of 485 included 13 Ride for Kids® “stars”: Angelina, Lea, Laura C., Justin, Althea, Danielle, John, Meray, Jared, and Aiden, as well as PBTF scholarship recipients Annie, Emily and Laura P.
These survivors shared their stories during the Celebration of Life program. “You all give us life,” said Jared, 18. “This program has let me know that I am not alone, and knowing that has given me the hope and strength to live life to the fullest.”
His stepfather, Dr. Arthur Braunwell of Immediate Medical Care on Long Beach Island, N.J., thanked the riders for making stories like Jared’s possible. “Research is really the key and you help make that happen,” he said.
Leading the way were these fundraisers:
- Individual: Andy Trought, $28,720
- Club/Chapter: Team Tyler, powered by American Collectors Insurance, $46,754
- Motorcycle Business: Fast by Ferracci, $17,084
Many thanks to the hardworking team of volunteers who put together the Philadelphia event, especially Steve and Deneen Falk, Joel Samick and Lynn Nathan.
Big win in St. Louis
A rainy day couldn’t dampen the spirit of St. Louis, where over 100 riders and supporters brought $109,260 to the ninth annual Ride for Kids®. This was a 33 percent increase over the 2009 event.
The crowd gathered at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville before the morning’s ride through the lush green Missouri countryside. The ride honored 13 local brain tumor survivors: Ashleigh, Brian, Hope, Adam, Isabelle, Zachary, Joshua, Challia, Courtney, Daniel, Amanda, Issa and Josh.
When the group returned to the college, they heard from these brave youngsters and their parents, as well as Brian Kissinger, an adult brain tumor survivor. “It’s all about fighting and hope, all we can do is keep on helping each other,” he said.
Dr. Joshua Rubin, an oncologist from Washington University School of Medicine, said the PBTF is funding promising research.
The top fundraisers in St. Louis were:
- Individuals: Lisa Rozier & Family, in memory of Taylor, $50,000
- Club/Chapter: Taylor Rozier’s Hope for a Cure, $52,208
- Motorcycle Business: Doc’s Harley Davidson, $50,000
The St. Louis Ride for Kids® is organized by an all-volunteer task force, led this year by Greg Hoette, Norm and Angie Riekena, John and Lorrie Lehmann, and Marty Hall.
About the PBTF Ride for Kids®
The national Ride for Kids® program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF) promote childhood brain tumor research and provide family support through free literature about brain tumors, educational newsletters, online conferences and college scholarships. Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Honda Riders Club of America, and our national insurance sponsor, GEICO. The 2010 Ride for Kids® season continues on Sept. 26 in Baltimore/Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.rideforkids.org or call 800-253-6530.