Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2nd Annual Run to the Hill Dice Run for Autism – Kansas City, Missouri

Written by  December 31, 2011

Sunday October 23, 2011, was the second annual Run to the Hill-Dice Run for Autism. I was fortunate enough to have attended the first event, so my expectations were high for the day’s events. The day started off at Shea and Shelly McCall’s property known as The Hill, which was the start and finish points for the activities. Registration for the dice run was held from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. with kickstands up at 11. The registration fee was $25 per rider and $15 for the passenger; all proceeds were to be given to the Team Tommy-Autism Speaks fund. After arrival at The Hill, riders were welcomed by a breakfast tent with a hot breakfast made to order with coffee and juice to wash it down. The volunteers had already started to set up the endless supply of silent auction items, and people were abuzz everywhere.

By the time 11 a.m. came around and people saddled up, 101 motorcycles plus riders were counted. As we jockeyed for position to leave from the hill to start the ride, Robert Dawson led the group, just as he did last year. The ride wound throughout the countryside stopping occasionally for riders to roll dice and stretch our legs. With the ride portion of the day almost over, we had a small break at Wabash BBQ in Excelsior Springs to get a bite to eat and have a beverage. The weather was in the 60’s, and the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. This was a good day.

We headed out with the 101-bike caravan with Robert leading us back to The Hill for the remainder of the event. As we pulled in, we were welcomed by several event volunteers waving and taking pictures with cameras and camcorders. Parking was easy with the straight road leading up to the McCall’s house. The property included a zip line, a stage, and a couple of tree rope swings; it is a very child-friendly environment, no matter how old the kid in everyone is.

After having a little while to look over all of the silent auction items, the volunteers reminded everyone to vote for the people’s choice bike with the winner to be announced later. Shea, Shelly, Robert, and Tracey Floro-Balkey welcomed the crowd and started the silent auctions. Then the traditional auction for the higher priced donated items was held with the biggest donation of $300 made in a heated bidding fury for one of Joel Overstreet’s (Street Photography) numbered framed pictures. The winner of the farthest-distance-traveled award was Jill Moffitt who came from Moline, Illinois. The people’s choice bike show winner was announced. The 50/50 winner, Jackie Rangel, turned right around and donated the entire winnings back to Autism Speaks fund. Ride patches for both this year and last year were given out to everyone who attended. As the sun started to set, the crowd was again thanked for attending and was informed that an amazing total of $4,745 was raised for the fight against autism.

In summary, Shea and Shelly McCall, with the help of some amazing friends, put on the second annual Run to the Hill Dice Run event to help out families who experience a loved one afflicted with autism. Shea and Shelly know the feeling very well, as Team Tommy was named after their son who is autistic. After speaking to Shea, Shelly and several of their close friends, I was amazed that approximately one in every 80 children is afflicted with a type of autism; that floored me. I also found it very difficult to believe that insurance companies consider autism a mental illness and do not provide insurance coverage for anyone diagnosed with autism. At Shea’s employment, Shea reports that he has very good insurance, “but even they won’t insure for autism.” So if you have read this far, I hope if ever given the opportunity you will volunteer, donate, or vote for appropriate legislation. A lot of people need your help.

I can’t wait until the third annual Run to the Hill for Team Tommy-Autism Speaks event, and if you can attend it, you will have an amazing day doing what bikers love to do--riding and helping others while doing so........ See ya next year.

By Danny Webb