Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2017 Ride for Kids - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  November 29, 2017

On Sunday, September 24, 2017, we were greeted with absolutely beautiful weather as God once again bestowed his blessings on the Ride for Kids ride at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.  

As everyone was registering for the ride, coffee and several boxes of delicious donuts were laid out on the tables, which were generously donated by Donut Joes in Leeds, Alabama.

The kid’s were busy enjoying getting their faces painted, and Brian Peters from ABC 33/40 was on hand as our emcee for the day. Brian seems to enjoy hanging out with us bikers, and we enjoy having him. One day we are going to get him on a to make this ride with us.

This year the kids were also treated with an antique car show featuring handmade trophies, which were as cool and unique as the cars. The cars on display included Paula Swafford’s fan favorite; Bumble Bee.

Jeff Ray was on hand to deliver the safety speech, followed by a prayer for a safe ride. We were then on our way to a beautiful escorted ride that lasted about an hour before everyone returned for a few laps around the awesome track at Barber’s. Even the county cops who were our escorts love doing this ride.

After a few laps on the track, everyone returned to where they started and were treated to some great BBQ that was donated by Rusty’s BBQ in Leeds, Alabama.

After everyone was sufficiently refueled, it was time to give away a new Honda motorcycle from the wonderful sponsor of this ride; Honda Motorcycles.

There were also a handful of really nice stuff that was donated to give away, which as parts, tires, and other items. This year, the folks from Who Doesn’t Like Cake donated two $25 gift certificates. Deliciously awesome! This is a cause that is very close to their heart, for a good reason, so they were excited to contribute to the ride. We were all drooling with excitement over wining them!

After all the goodies were given out, it was time for the most important and rewarding part of the event, which is interviewing with the stars of the day; the kids!

We were sadly missing a few this year, like Ms Molly, Matt and Bayleigh for example, but it was because these guys are growing up  (God willing) and have busy lives, thank God! Our veteran for this year was Ms Krissy, who enjoys getting her make up done and always looks so precious afterward.

Jan Robertson from the Neuro/Oncology SW at Children’s Hospital joined in this year to speak about the Pediatric Brain Tumor foundation. Former spokesperson Jeff Barrett has moved on to working with survivors at UAB, which is where all of these kids strive to graduate to.

Katie Sheridan from the Pediatric Brain Tumor foundation told us that the foundation is there to simplify the giving process when children and their families are coping with a devastating diagnosis. They are in the business of saying YES!

YES to getting a family from South Alabama gas cards who just learned that their child needs weeks of radiation in Birmingham.

YES to paying rent for a single parent who can’t work because of their child’s illness.

YES to covering utilities for the parents who have gone from being a two-income family to a one-income family overnight.

Brain tumors affect families from every neighborhood and community in every state, region, and country. No matter what the income level, a family’s way of life is sure to be affected by this diagnosis.

Over 3,000 kids a year receive this devastating diagnosis in the U.S alone; and over 300 kids a year are cared for at the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham alone.

What Katie and the foundation know, is that a financial stress is one burden that can be relieved through their butterfly fund, which is a greatly welcomed resource for the families and is a great privilege for all those working with them. It’s also a great privilege for those of us who come to do this ride as well.

Just as important is the commitment of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to funding research. In fact, they are the world’s largest funders of brain tumor research. Everyone’s prayer is to find a CURE, and God willing, with the help of this wonderful organization, it could happen!

The stars on stage this year were Ms. Krissy, Luke, Madalyn, and Master Jon Mason, who is a big “Bumble Bee” fan; they were even matching. It was so cute! Jon’s mom said they were there on the anniversary of him receiving his diagnosis. How cool was that to spend the anniversary with all of us for the day, but I think he really enjoyed himself and wasn’t thinking about hospitals and being sick and such; at least for the day.

To quote Jan and Margaret Mead; “Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can make a difference in this world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

At the end of this day, know that you HAVE EACH MADE A DIFFERENCE!