Minnesota Ride for Kids sets new record in spite of severe
Hundreds of enthusiastic - and damp - motorcyclists braved powerful summer
storms to raise a record $64,184 at the Minnesota Ride For Kids on Sunday, July
As the early morning sun crept across the horizon in the east, huge black storm
clouds came rolling in from the west to blanket the Minnesota State Capitol
Grounds. High winds, lightning, and torrential rains soon followed, but the
hearty riders were undeterred and soon departed for the 45-mile police-escorted
scenic ride through the rolling hills of the Minnesota farmlands.
When the motorcyclists arrived at Century College in White Bear Lake the weather
eased and the group assembled in the big-top tent for the Ride for Kids
Celebration of Life. Dr. Cynthia Wetmore shared how she and her son were
thrilled to ride in the event. In addition, she shared how thankful she was for
the efforts of the motorcyclists in Minnesota and across the US, because she has
been the recipient of funding from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the
US (PBTFUS) for her ongoing research.
The stage soon filled with some of the many children fighting this devastating
disease. Sharon, who was diagnosed at age 17, told of her subsequent recovery
and explained that she is now a full time teacher of English. There was
thunderous applause when she announced that this past April she had gotten
married. Then there was 20-year old Karla - absolute silence fell over the
riders as Karla softly shared how she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1983.
Today, she is a walking miracle, a full time college student and proof that
research is making a difference. Next, for the second year in a row, came 8-year
old Lauren whom, along with her mom, dad, big brother, and little sister drove 8
hours from Bismarck, ND to be at the ride. The cheers and clapping could be
heard for miles as the participants, with tears in their eyes, applauded Lauren
when she sang her own personal song about going to the "Ride for Kids". The
riders were left speechless again when Lauren returned later to the stage to
accept honors as the number three fund raiser, having raised $3,000 by singing
her song all across the state of North Dakota.
Congratulations to Dee Rasmussen for being the top fund raiser, bringing $5,795
to fund the programs of the PBTFUS. Competition for the top club honors was
fierce with the top honors going to the Southern Chapter of Minnesota Wings with
$9,085. Top dealer honors for the 2001 Minnesota Ride for Kids went to Moon
Motors, whose customers and friends brought $16,406. Dee Rasmussen had barely
caught her breath from being on stage as the top fundraiser when her name was
drawn as the winner of the brand new Honda motorcycle.
Congratulations to Tippy Scully, the Minnesota Ride for Kids Task Force leader,
and to all the Task Force members and volunteers for a flawless event. In spite
of the morning storms, Minnesotans displayed an indomitable spirit, bringing a
new Minnesota record amount of $64,184. Because of their hard work and
generosity, the kids on stage, and the thousands of kids like them, have a
better chance than ever at a full and productive life.
Ride for Kids events are held across the USA to support the programs of the
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the US (PBTFUS). The next Ride for Kids
event will be held Saturday July 28, 2001 in Marysville, Ohio as a part of the
annual "Honda Homecoming" motorcycle rally. For more information about the Ride
for Kids and the programs of PBTFUS, please call 800-253-6530 or visit the
websites at www.ride4kids.org or www.pbtfus.org.