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2013 Ride For Kids - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  October 1, 2013

I’m convinced that God and Mother Nature get together and set the most beautiful day for the Ride For Kid’s every year. Here it is, Sunday, September 8, and what an absolute gorgeous day, as hundreds of bike’s gather at Barber Motorsports Park to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.


Looking around at all the smiling faces, we started noticing the kids, and how well they are all looked and seem to be. I almost didn’t recognize Miss Bayleigh with her thick dark curly hair, but that beautiful smiling face was a dead give-away.

Michael was inside helping to get folks with the drawing, and it was so nice seeing everyone in such good spirits.

The night before, ABC 33/40’s weatherman Brian Peters was advertising the ride, and when we got there, we saw that he was also there to emcee the day’s events. It was nice to see that the news people had started to recognize this event and help to promote it. This is a big event around here, and it’s for a very good cause.

Every day, 11 families in the United States get the devastating news that their child has a brain tumor. Ride for Kids motorcycle events take place across the country to raise much needed funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor foundation. Their goals are to find a cure for one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer, to find the cause of and cure for childhood brain tumors by supporting medical research, to increase public awareness, to aid in early detection and treatment, and to provide educational and emotional support for children and families.

Rider’s Harley-Davidson, along with a $1,000.00 donation, had loaned them the use of their large tent to setup the lunch area and other things. The ladies were up early that morning, and were already busy painting faces and blowing up balloons. The GEICO lizard was also there making the rounds, and donuts were available for all the early risers. This year they added online pre-registration, which was really nice and saved you $10 over the day of registration.

After the safety speech, the riders were informed that the ride on the track time was changed a little today. Instead of getting on the track as soon as the scenic ride gets back, we would ride back to the registration spot for lunch, the celebration of life, and the interviews with the stars (the kids). We’re very lucky each year in that the Porsche Driving School, who has the track for that weekend every year, has allowed us to do a few laps on the track when they were on break for lunch, so this year their schedule had to change just a bit, but it was all good.

After those activities were completed, our escorts the Jefferson County, Birmingham, and Leeds State Troopers positioned themselves in front of the group, which was everyone’s cure to saddle up and ride.

The hour long ride took us through some of Alabama’s beautiful countryside and winding roads, and did I mention it was a beautiful day for a ride? Once we got back, it was time for a quick lunch. Also new this year, Hardees provided us with a burger; drinks, chips and cookies. It was pretty good if I do say so.

It was then time to give away some goodies, like a tire, helmet and a brand new Honda, several of which Honda proudly donates each year to give away at several of the Ride for Kids events. This year’s lucky winner of the Honda was, Ms. Lisa Reed. This was her first time here for this ride, and she only got one ticket. Her friends were threatening to take her to buy lottery tickets afterward. Honda of Alabama also donated $10,000.

Hardees was also recognized for their tremendous contributions. Not only did they donate lunch, but they also raised approximately $20,000 for this year’s ride and over $100,000 since they have been involved. Love it!

Our new emcee Brian Peters was impressed with the figures, as they recognized and thanked the top fund-raisers, groups and individuals. I think he was also impressed as he went to interview the “stars.” The kids have been involved with this ride for so long, they have that interview stuff down pat! They are all so smart and have so many good things going on in their life that Mr. Peters seemed surprised to learn that a few of them, like Zack and Jon Michael, were in college. Jon and a passenger also did the ride on his bike! As the interviews continued, we discovered that Miss Bayleigh has an interest in public speaking, which scares the crap out of me! LOL

They all enjoyed doing the ride with everyone, and one of them even said her favorite part of the ride was the nap she took. We all cracked up.

Miss Molly, Miss Krissy, and Master Matt also joined Bayleigh, Jon Michael and Zack on the stage. This is my favorite part of the day, and we learn something new from these kids every year that we’re around them. The world could really take lessons.

After the interviews, it was time to take a couple laps around this beautiful track here at Barber’s. Mr. Jeff Ray, Mr., who is George Barber’s right-hand man, and a super nice guy, hopped on his bike and rode with the group with the state trooper escorts leading the way. I know they had to get a kick out of doing that, and Mr. Ray even took a final lap around after everyone got off the track just to make sure no one had fallen behind.

The event brought in over $90,000.00. What a wonderful Day!

The Task-Force Team leader for our area, Ms. Stacy Megil, told us the date for next year’s ride is September 21, 2014. 9/21/14. For more information, and to make a donation anytime, please go to www.rideforkids.org.