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Bikers Lend A Helping Hand & Break All Records!

Written by  September 30, 2003

What a wonderful day for the 9th Annual March of Dimes Bikers for Babies® Motorcycle Ride. There was plenty of sunshine on Sunday morning, September 14th to kick off the day’s events at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.

According to the organization’s National President, Jennifer Howse, this event now ranks as the March of Dimes largest motorcycle fundraising event nationwide! More than $360,000 was raised by 5,178 bikers lending a helping hand in the fight against birth defects and to prevent premature births; the #1 reason for newborn deaths.

Bikers roared through the tunnel into the Speedway infield, where they were welcomed by Tanya Tucker, Celebrity Spokesperson, Johnny Dare, Honorary Chairman, Murphy Wells, 98.9 The Rock and Gary Amble, KCTV5. Tanya sang the National Anthem, and after the blessing of the bikes and rules of the road, riders took off on a 100-mile ride through the winding back roads of Kansas.

Local police and fire departments pulled out all the stops to help navigate the hordes of bikers through every town, but with so many riders on the road at the same time, and with varying degrees of skill, there were numerous backups and stops along the route. Still, comments heard throughout the day were upbeat and positive.

Our first stop for food, drink and restrooms was the Winchester High School, where we caught up with Tanya Tucker sitting on her Harley-Davidson Sportster eating a hotdog, chatting with fans and signing autographs. Reva Weaver of Lake Tapawingo, Missouri, a lifelong fan and motorcycle enthusiast, had a chance to speak with Tanya about one of her performances she had attended in Branson, Missouri.

Tonganoxie was our second stop and the locals were there to welcome every rider. As we rode through Leavenworth and Oskaloosa, residents were lined up along the roads waving and cheering. Most gas stations along the route were busy, as expected, with some riders waiting in line up to 40 minutes to fill their tanks.

The ride ended back at the Speedway in time for lunch, which was donated by Outback Steak House. There were several tents setup to accommodate the crowd, and it took only 30 minutes to make it through the long lines of hungry bikers. The Outback served steak, chicken, salad and bloomin' onions. Other activities included a performance by the Cajun Wings Motorcycle Drill Team from Louisiana, music by Rock Solid, a People’s Choice Ride-In Bike Show, Dealer’s Expo, and numerous awards and prize drawings.

The organizers and volunteers did an outstanding job and we could not have asked for a better day to ride!

Story By Goldie Arnold

Send your donations to the March of Dimes Greater Kansas City Chapter at:
4050 Pennsylvania - Suite 141
Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 561-0175