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Sep 15, 2009

Ride For Kids Events In Alabama, Washington Raised Over $180,000 For PBTF

Motorcyclists in Birmingham, Ala., and Carnation, Wash., rode together on Sept. 13 to help children with brain tumors. Their donations totaled $180,574 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).

Both events were dedicated to the memory of PBTF and Ride for Kids® co-founder Mike Traynor, who passed away on Sept. 12 at age 70.

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Anthony was a star at the Puget Sound ride.

Puget Sound celebrates 17 years
The 17th annual Puget Sound Ride for Kids® raised $90,514 on a sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. Over 370 motorcyclists, brain tumor survivors, and supporters participated in the event at Remlinger Farms in Carnation, Wash.

From this working farm and tourist destination, the motorcyclists wound their way through the beautiful countryside surrounding Carnation. The ride eventually looped back for the Celebration of Life, where the crowd cheered the amount raised as well as the accomplishments of 12 local brain tumor survivors.

Those Ride for Kids® "stars" included 8-year-olds Claire and Zander and PBTF scholarship recipient Kathryn. Also attending were several parents and family members of children that are no longer with us.

"What I love about the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is that they really put an emphasis on early diagnosis," said Christina, the mom of 12-year-old Nick. "After years of treatments these children are amazing. Their courage, endurance and ability to overcome the difficulties they face make them an inspiration to us all."

Dr. Bill Thomas of Mary Bridge Children's Health Center told the riders that the funds raised make a huge difference for research into this devastating disease. Ichabod Caine of KMPS 94.1 FM rode in the event and pumped up the crowd.

The No. 1 fundraisers were:

*
Individual: Ken Watson and Marie Chavez, $11,217
*
Chapter/Club: Headless Horsemen, $19,502
*
Motorcycle Business: Everett Powersports, $24,503

The drawing for a new Honda motorcycle was won by David Berg of Everett, Wash.

The Puget Sound Ride for Kids® task force is led by Ken Watson and Marie Chavez, Mike Tennyson, and Mick and Mary Rairdin.

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Molly is ready to roll in Birmingham.

Barber hosts Birmingham riders
Light rain didn't dampen the spirits of the 320 motorcyclists and supporters at the eighth annual Birmingham Ride for Kids®. The group raised $90,060 for the PBTF.

The loop ride left from Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., with a police escort. After touring tree-lined country roads, the riders were treated to two laps around the speedway.

The ride was followed by a Celebration of Life program that featured top fundraisers and a medical researcher, but the real stars were local brain tumor survivors Matt, Bayleigh, Karissa and Molly.

Bayleigh's dad, Johnnie, said, "Without your help there would be no new techniques and treatments available to help save children like mine."

Other special guests included Dr. G. Yancey Gillespie, professor of neurosurgery and director of brain tumor research at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and former Moto GP racer Kevin Schwantz, who has a riding school at Barber.

The top fundraisers were:

* Individual: Claudio Chaves, $6,760
* Chapter/Club: GWRRA AL-X, $17,269
* Motorcycle Business: Action Lock & Trikes, $17,041

Bill Smith of Alabaster, Ala., won the drawing for a new Honda motorcycle.

Ride for Kids® is grateful for the support of the associates of Honda of Alabama Manufacturing, along with George Barber, Jeff Ray and the team at Barber Motorsports Park. Many dedicated volunteers made this ride a success, including local task force leaders Bill and Joyce Smith, Roy and Anita Fosnight, and Stacy Ashby.

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. The next Ride for Kids® events are Sept. 20 in Philadelphia and St. Louis. For more information, go to www.rideforkids.org/ or call 800-253-6530