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23rd Annual Freedom Ride for MDA

Written by  October 30, 2003

The forecast for Saturday, October 11th was cloudy and cool with a chance of rain. But that didn’t stop about 120 riders from participating in the 23rd annual Freedom Ride for MDA. The ride raises money to help MDA conquer neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million Americans.

Riders could begin the ride at either Worth Harley-Davidson North or Blue Springs Harley-Davidson. We left from the Blue Springs store which led us up 7 Highway to 24 Highway and over to 224 past Wellington and into Richmond off 13 Highway. This was the first stop for a dice roll and to meet up with the riders from the north store. They were wet and warned us to put on our raingear for the second leg of the ride. Boy, were they right. We went down 10 Highway to 210 and over to I-29 to North Oak Trafficway. The second stop was at the north store where a band was playing the blues. We warmed up, dried off and waited for the rain to let up a bit. Once it did, we took off for the Beaumont Club in Westport for the final stop.

Although there were no hot beverages being served at the Beaumont Club, it was warm, dry and Fuddruckers was catering dinner. After dinner, local MDA representative Mike Edwards introduced Don, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Don thanked each and every one of us for coming out in the rain to raise money to help them find a cure. Mike spoke briefly about the MDA summer camps where youngsters attend at no cost for an unforgettable week described as 'the best time of their lives.’

A pool was started to get David and Lori Worth up on the mechanical bull for a ride. Lori even called her mother to see if she would match the pool. Mom said, 'Of course’ and away went David on the bull. That is until he fell off, then it was Lori’s turn. You can tell by the pictures that Lori knows how to ride the bull. A live auction was conducted by Roger Porter to raise even more money. Among the riders, Marilyn Hughes raised the most money by bringing in over $1,500 and won his and hers Harley-Davidson leather jackets. The grand prize drawing for a Harley-Davidson home entertainment package went to Donald Sweeney who participated in the ride and was present to win.

The final figures added up to over $10,000 for MDA, who were the real winners for the day. Harley-Davidson is also a national sponsor supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Story by Margaret Liggett
Photos by Michael Schweder