MOTORCYCLES: Blue Ridge 500 Ride for Kids tops $21,000
21 October 1999
A special kind of Ride for Kids took place on a beautiful fall morning, Saturday, October 2 as dozens of east coast riders enjoyed a great time riding and fundraising on the twisting roads of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. When the day was over, $21,000 had been raised to support the search for the cause and cure of pediatric brain tumors. Lawrenceville Honda in north Georgia was the staging point for this unique poker run. Checkpoints included the Lake Burton, GA overlook, the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground near Canton, NC, and the motorcycle-friendly Blue Ridge Parkway. About 4:30 PM the riders began arriving at the endpoint, located at the Honda Rider Education Center, just outside of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA. The riders were all treated to hugs from 14-year-old brain tumor survivor Julia Travis. Julia's mom Fran shared how the love and support of motorcyclists attending Ride for Kids events had helped save Julia's life. Special Congratulations are in order for the top 6 fundraisers who each raised more than $1000 to help the kids, led by Buster Moldenhauer $5,603.32. At the end of the event when the money was all counted, more than $21,195 had been raised to help the kids. Congratulations to Pat Roddy, Bob Reynolds and all of the event volunteers for their vision and help that has allowed this event to grow and prosper. Phoenix Ride for Kids Tops $93,000 Sunday October 10, 1999 was a great day in the Valley of the Sun as some 500 motorcycle enthusiasts poured into the little town of Avondale, Arizona just outside of Phoenix. They came with big smiles, warm hearts, and open wallets as they raised $93,101 to help find a cure for pediatric brain tumors. The day was bright and sunny with the temperature rising to 90 degrees by the time the parade of motorcycles took off from Coldwater Park. Some 80 minutes and 50 miles later they returned and listened intently as Dr. Michael Berens of the Barrows Neurological Institute in Phoenix told the riders how their fundraising efforts were fast-forwarding research, not only at his facility, but at facilities all across the US and the world. Nick Hoppner, Editor of GWRRA's Wing World magazine and Phoenix Ride for Kids Task Force Leader shared the thrill of hearing the voice of 6-year old brain tumor survivor Bryce Garst singing along with country western tunes as he rode on the back of Nick's bike. Charlene Garst, mother of Bryce, brought tears to the eyes of many when she thanked the riders for caring enough to find ways to save her son's life. The crowd was full of heroes on Sunday, and some performed an exceptional job of raising funds for the kids. Mark and Janet Tkach of Phoenix were the champion fundraisers, with $20,000 to help find the cause and cure for this horrific disease. The top Club was GWRRA Arizona Chapter D with a whopping $34,392.82. Top dealer honors went to Town and Country Motorsports with $34,343.24. Congratulations to Nick Hoppner, Dave and Edith Hewitt and all of the Task Force members who worked all year to make the ride possible. The Ride for Kids has now raised over $1.6 million with 17 rides in 1999, an increase of 21% over 1998. For more information on the work of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Ride for Kids call 828.665.6891.