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Jul 18, 2011

Three Ride For Kids Events Last Weekend Raised $371,573 For PBTF

July 17 was another big day for Ride for Kids®, as motorcyclists in Illinois, New York and Minnesota joined forces to raise $371,573 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF).

Chicagoland riders give big

Chicagoland celebrated its 23rd Ride for Kids® yesterday by raising $222,595 for the PBTF.

More than 1,400 motorcyclists and other supporters gathered at Elgin Community College for the event on a hot, sunny morning.

Local brain tumor survivors Stephanie, Melanie, Kaitlyn, Corey, Nikki, Carra, Teagan, Joshua, Kylie, Rachel, Lilly, Katrina, and Casey were the "stars" of the day. Many of them joined the riders on a route that crossed the Fox River twice.

Back at the college, these young people told the group about their lives, and Dr. Jason Fangusaro of Children's Memorial Hospital praised the riders' generosity.

"Without your fundraising we would not be making the progress we are making today," he said. "In the research field, we are developing medicine that targets these children's tumors, enabling them to lead better lives."

Chicagoland's highest fundraisers were:

"¢ Individuals: Stacia and Steve Skinner, $40,093
"¢ Club/Chapter: Wings Over the Prairie, $38,236
"¢ Motorcycle Business: Nielsen Enterprises, $79,332

Drawing prizes went to Steve and Stacia Skinner (Honda motorcycle); Julie Runzel (Dunlop tire), Fred Snyder (AGV helmet); Sara McNally (Tourmaster luggage); and Kathy Carter (Cardo Systems headset).

Volunteers get the credit for the success of every Ride for Kids® event. In Chicagoland, the team is managed by Carol Sevrey, Jeff Pedersen, Bob Wagner and Rick Montgomery. Mark your calendars now for next year's ride, scheduled for Sunday, July 15.

Strong support for kids in Utica

Utica's 14th Ride for Kids® raised $98,866 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® yesterday. More than 480 people were there to cheer on children like Thomas, Vincent, Hunter, Joshua, Vinny, Cassandra, Mackenzie, Cassie, Kevin, and C.J.

The ride began at the volunteer fire department in Deerfield, then went through the Adirondack foothills to reach Old Forge Pavilion in the Town of Webb.

Riders heard from the "stars" and their families during the Celebration of Life program. Thomas' mother described her 10-year-old's struggles and thanked everyone for being there.

"This was our first year, and we cannot believe the overwhelming support from these riders," Cindy said. "[Thomas] is now cancer free "¦ academically, his last report card was the best he has ever received."

New York State Sen. Joe Griffo was also on hand to show his support. The leading fundraisers in Utica were:

Individuals: Peter Weidman & Judy Laforest, $10,553
Club/Chapter: GWRRA NY-N, $18,674
Motorcycle Business: Sportline Power Products, $24,875

Congratulations to the event's drawing prize winners: Jim Thompson (Honda motorcycle); John Bereza (Dunlop tire); Danielle Willis (AGV helmet); Clifford Bonesteel (Tourmaster luggage); and Keith Miller (Cardo Systems headset).

Many thanks to the hardworking volunteers who organized this event, led by Ken and Kathy Sweatman and Mike and Lesley Grogan. Please join us on Sunday, July 15, 2012, for the next Utica Ride for Kids®.

Making a difference in Minnesota

The weather in White Bear Lake was hot and muggy for the 19th Minnesota Ride for Kids®, but that didn't stop the riders from raising $50,112 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® yesterday.

The event at Century College honored seven local brain tumor survivors "” Domenick, Jewell, Josh, Chris, Catrina, Spenser, and Rachelle. The family of Allana Creager also rode in her memory.

After a 50-mile tour around the area's scenic lakes, participants returned for a celebratory program. Many of the "stars" talked about their lives, and Josh's father expressed his thanks.

"Because of this foundation, kids today have a much better chance for a cure," Rick said. "The children we diagnose today have treatments we only dreamed of."

The event's top fundraisers were:

"¢ Individuals: Bruce, Sandy & Justin Schafer, $5,860
"¢ Club/Chapter: CMA Crosswinds #671, $5,960
"¢ Motorcycle Business: Tousley Motorsports, $8,395

Minnesota's drawing prize winners were: David Wyatt (Honda motorcycle); Paul Merkling (Dunlop tire); Darryl Doughty (AGV helmet); Linda Schwantes (Tourmaster luggage); and Sandy Schafer (Cardo Systems headset).

The Minnesota event is put together by many generous volunteers. Special thanks to Dan and Maggie Larson, Sam Mackenzie and Andrea St. George for spearheading these efforts. Next year's Minnesota Ride for Kids® will be on Sunday, July 15.

About the PBTF Ride for Kids®
Ride for Kids® supports the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF) by funding medical research and family support programs. We thank our presenting sponsor, Honda Riders Club of America, and our national insurance sponsor, GEICO. The next Ride for Kids® event is on Saturday, July 23 in Marysville, Ohio. Learn more at or call 800-253-6530.