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May 17, 2002

Schwantz To Lead Charity Ride In Atlanta

May 17, 2002<BR>For Immediate Release<BR><BR>Kevin Schwantz Named Grand Marshall of March of Dimes 2002 Atlanta Ride to Save Babies<BR><BR>Kevin Schwantz, the 1993 500cc Grand Prix World Champion, has been named Grand Marshall of the March of Dimes annual fundraising motorcycle event, the 2002 Atlanta Ride to Save Babies. He will ride at the head of a pack of more than 2000 motorcycles during the Sunday, October 6th charity ride with National Ride Chairman Eric Estrada, who is best known for his portrayal of a California Highway Patrol officer on the TV show, "ChiPs".<BR><BR>The Atlanta Ride to Save Babies is the second-largest motorcycle fundraising event in the United States, and largest East of the Mississippi River. Since 1992, the Atlanta Ride to Save Babies has raised more than $3.75 million. Ride participant's donations directly touch the lives of babies born in Georgia. All proceeds raised in the 2002 Ride for Babies will go towards the funding of Georgia's Newborn Metabolic Screening Project.<BR><BR>With the support of Governor Roy Barnes, the Center for Disease Control, Emory University and the Department of Human Resources, the March of Dimes Georgia Chapter will purchase new technology for newborn metabolic screening that will directly help to give Georgia's 133,000 babies a healthy start in life.<BR><BR>"I am honored to be a part of such a tremendous project," Schwantz says. "Anything you can do for children is great, and we are proud to help raise funds in order to give children a better start in life.<BR><BR>"The motorcycle racing community -- and that includes cruisers, sport riders and all the professional and amateur racers -- just enjoy riding and sharing their love of motorcycles. The Ride to Save Babies is a great way to bring us all together for a terrific charity."<BR><BR>Schwantz raced only one way -- to win. He won 25 World Grand Prix races and the 1993 500cc World Grand Prix championship. He set 21 lap records and 29 pole positions. He also won 14 career AMA Superbike events. Today, he runs the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School (www.schwantzschool.com) at Road Atlanta.<BR><BR>He recently was elected to the American Motorcyclist Association Board of Directors and was named to the AMA Pro Racing Board.<BR><BR>When asked about the ride, perennial Grand Marshal Estrada says, "I'm proud to serve once again as National Honorary Co-Chair for the March of Dimes Ride! As a father of two healthy sons and a beautiful baby girl, I know the importance of giving every baby the best chance for a healthy start in life. And that is what Ride's all about. So let's all rev up our engines and take to the road to help the March of Dimes save babies!"<BR><BR>Now held in over 50 cities across the nation, the March of Dimes Ride is the recipient of the MVP award from the American Motorcyclist Association for the volunteers contribution and efforts in the advancing the cause of motorcycling in America and improving the enjoyment of motorcycling.<BR><BR>Schwantz and Estrada will lead national and local celebrities and thousands of motorcyclists from around the country in the 2002 Ride to Save Babies. Various pre-Ride events will be held in and around Atlanta beginning in July and leading up to the Ride weekend October 5th and 6th.<BR><BR>Riders can sign up for the 2002 Atlanta Ride to Save Babies at the March of Dimes tent in Vendor Village during the Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals at Road Atlanta May 17-19.<BR><BR>The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services education, and advocacy to save babies.<BR><BR>For more information, visit www.modridega.org or contact Ride Director Brian Lucy at 404-350-9800 or blucy@marchofdimes.com.