Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

KC Creations - Ride For Special Children - V

Written by  June 30, 2004

Charity rides to benefit children with special needs always tug at our heartstrings. On Saturday, June 12th at KC Creations was no exception for the 5th annual ride to benefit First Downs for Down Syndrome.

Hundreds turned out for the 103-mile dice run despite threats of afternoon storms. I met up with Cheryl Suter, owner of KC Creations and sponsor of the event. She introduced me to Jimmy Jack Clayton, Program Director for the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City.

He said, “The event gets bigger every year. We had 60 bikes the first year, 200 last year and we expect approximately 300 on this ride. We have raised a total of $75,000 over the years, including this year. First Downs for Down Syndrome gets 100 percent of it. No management or administrative fees go to anyone. All the volunteers and extra hands come from all over to support Down Syndrome. There are school custodians, electricians, lawyers, blue collar workers and, of course bikers. There are seven Down syndrome families gathered here today helping out, and there will be another fifteen more in Louisburg when we end the ride. A group from Wichita rode up today to gain information on starting their own ride for Down Syndrome, so the word is definitely getting around.”

This group is close to Jimmy and his wife, Sarah’s heart since their 7 year old son, Teddy has Down syndrome. Teddy is the poster child for the Kansas City Chiefs and Sarah is the President of the Down Syndrome Guild. The Kansas City Chiefs presented the Kansas City Community Quarterback of the Year award to Jimmy for his involvement, leadership and organization of this ride.

I asked Cheryl how it all got started and she replied, “Jimmy and I are buds and it’s all about friends and riding. I also have a nephew with a disability and even though it’s not Down syndrome, this group touched me.”

Jimmy added that he wanted everyone to know the advancements and awareness that is taking place in the schools with Down syndrome children is greatly improved because of fund-raisers like this. He wants to thank everyone for every year they grow.

CC: Where do most of your donations come from?

Jimmy: We do about six fund-raisers a year like this; The Buddy Walk, a Wine Auction with Dick Vermeil and a golf tournament. We also have corporate sponsors and individuals who are touched by Down syndrome, and we have auctions.

CC: Have you always had this many vendors participate?

Cheryl: No, we just keep getting bigger and vendors are calling us wanting to set up space.
Jimmy: I almost did not do this event this year, then my wife said, “What about Kim and Cheryl?” So here we are again!

Some of the vendors this year were: Big Dog Motorcycles, Weld Racing, Pig-Glow, Scott Thomas, Wide Open Magazine and Women in the Wind.

I asked Billy Edson why he rides in this event and he said, “I almost forgot about it this year until my painter, Tommy Martin called to remind me. So I left my shop from working on bikes to come out. And I ride in it because Kim is the best bike builder in the area.”

Lisa McCoy was backing out of a parking space to join the group on her KC Creations Saturday Night Special Edition chopper. She has had the bike since January and what a baby blue beauty it is. All the bikes were revved up and ready to ride by 3 p.m. As they pulled out, I got a chance to visit with a couple of vendors.

Pig-Glow offers professional polishes and detail products. A company that started just three years ago and by word of mouth is now nationwide. Dave, a sales manager, says their product is one of a kind. It is a water-based solvent. The wax and silicone type products do not belong on a bike with water-based paint. They offer the following products:

Polish - For use every four to six months.

Wash & Go - For quick details, only takes 15 minutes.

Motor Jugs & Wheels - Spray on, no wiping or rinsing required
(Remember when we used a toothbrush to clean these areas).

Leather Dressing - Conditions the seat, tires and tread by softening the rubber.

Pete Grahn, their professional detailer was busy at work on a bike. Out of 52 entries in bike shows in 2003, bikes he detailed took home first place awards 37 times and all the rest have placed in the top 10! What a compliment to his work! He goes to the clients to work on their bikes, usually taking two to four hours and charges $125. If it’s for a show, he needs two weeks notice and the cost can be up to $500. Pete made the comment, “If you invest $20,000 in a Harley-Davidson, don’t loose it to rust. Keep a good polymer on it and it will last a long time, plus when you’re ready to trade it in; you will get more money for your bike.”

Pig-Glow is based out of Kansas City and only sells through dealers. I asked Dave how they chose their name and he said, “Hogs are trademarked all over so we played around with names and our lawyers came up with Pig-Glow. Mike’s uncle had a pig farm and he said, “do you know why the pigs are always smiling?” Mike said, “no, why?” The uncle said, “Because pigs have organisms for 15 minutes.” “So we are happy pigs!” said Dave.

I also stopped by the Weld Racing booth and talked to Jason. They specialize in drag, car and truck wheels. They got involved as a vendor because Kim Suter was invited to participate in the Master Builder program they offer. Kim is one of the top 50 bike builders in the United States.

I couldn’t pass up a Kodak moment of two brothers sitting on the mini-chopper that was raffled off after the ride. Noah and Eli Harrison (ages 6 & 4) are in HOG heaven on this little bike built for tykes.

The Women in the Wind – Khrome Cowgirls of Kansas City Chapter directed traffic in and out of the parking lot. Lindsay, Toto and Judy kept everything moving so there was no backups or congestion. They were also there to promote their organization to other lady riders. Their group also rode sweep for the leg to Louisburg, Kansas.

Overall this was a huge success. Cheryl, Jimmy Jack and everyone else involved should be proud of the turnout and the money raised for this worthy organization. I’m sure there are many bikers looking forward to participating again next year.

People with Down syndrome have an extra or irregular chromosome in some or all of their body’s cells. The chromosomal abnormalities impair physical and mental development.
Down syndrome is a life-long condition. Treatment usually includes regular medical checkups, speech and language therapy, physical and occupational therapy, nutritional counseling and vocational training. Those afflicted with Down syndrome can live into their 50’s and some into their 60’s or older. Giving children with Down syndrome proper medical care, emotional support, and social opportunities can help them reach their full potential.

If you would like to become involved with this fund-raiser or any others for Down syndrome, give Jimmy Jack a call at 913-226-5946. Also, be sure to stop in and see Cheryl and Kim Suter at KC Creations and tell them what a great job they are doing to help Down syndrome children.

Story and photos by Goldie Arnold