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12th Annual Kelsi Long Memorial Ride – Augusta, Georgia

Written by  April 1, 2014

Augusta, Georgia - March 15, Augusta H-D hosted the 12th Annual Kelsi Long Memorial Ride. Then at ten am, 300-plus bikers hopped on their hogs and revved up their engines and helped to raise more than $6000 for the Medical College of Georgia's Children's Medical Center.

 

When I arrived at Augusta Harley-Davidson it was still dark. I was thinking at that time I was going to have to sit here in the dark until someone came. When my eyes got use to the darkness I began to see someone moving around in the parking lot. I was relieved to find out it was the volunteers who were already here sitting up for the ride. This time the volunteers beat me here.

Mr. Mike Maddox founded the Kelsi Elizabeth Long Memorial Foundation back in 2003 in memory of his granddaughter, who was stillborn at 81/2 months and had Downs Syndrome.” One day my wife and I were out at the grave putting out flowers, and my wife said that she didn't want Kelsi to be another name on a headstone," Mike said. "She wanted people to know how much Kelsi is loved.". "We felt that we needed to do something but we didn't know how. Then the Kelsi Long Memorial Ride was born to keep her memory alive.

The ride kicked off Saturday morning at the Augusta Harley-Davidson and ended at the Children's Hospital of Georgia. Along the way kids from the hospital held up signs thanking the riders for helping kids like me.”

After the riders arrived in front of the Children Medical Center some of the kids came out and sat on their bikes and talked with the motorcyclists. Around noon the bikers gathered at the front entrance of the hospital and Mike Maddox presented the staff a check for six thousand dollars to the Children Hospital. Then the bikers mounted their bikes and headed back to the Augusta H-D for food that was provided by Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar. Well I had to try the BBQ and Hot dogs so I can tell you that it was first-class. One of the bikers that rode that Saturday was Danny Cason who said he is happy to ride for a good cause. Also "It feels real good to ride and help the community. Bikers are very good people and they take care and help the needy that needs help."

When the bikers arrived back at the Harley-Davidson dealership they were greeted by the music of the Amy Taylor Band on stage. Amy is a local singer-songwriter from Statesboro, Georgia. She possesses a natural ability as a singer and performer. Now she makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee. The Amy Taylor band is made up of Buddy Corn lead guitarist, Darrel Patrick on drums and Travis Howell who plays bass. Mike told me “Not all bikers are bad boys. It's all about the kids now. The ride also shows a different side of motorcyclists. The biking community in this area is probably the most giving group of people that I know of," Mike Maddox also said.

So far, over the last twelve years the Kelsi Elizabeth Long Memorial Foundation has helped raise $90,000 for the Children's Hospital of Georgia.” The money is used to buy special equipment for children with special needs.

I noticed on that day there were a lot of fathers that had their son or daughter riding with them on the back of their bike. I wonder if they felt like me that they were thankful for the good health of their children. I noticed over the years that these bikers have a warm place in their hearts for kids that need help. That must be the reason that a large number of charity rides is for kids that is in the need of help. I know I am thankful every day for the good health of my kids.

This was a special day to show the kids and parents the support that they need during this difficult time of their life. Both by financially and letting them know that people of the community is here for them. The ride also lets the healthcare workers know that the surrounding areas of Augusta appreciate the care and support given to the parents during their time of need.

A special thanks to Officer Lyons, Officer Smith, Officer Mobley, and Officer Colon of the motor patrol of Columbia County who lead the way and did an excellent job of keeping the intersections clear for the riders. They made the ride a safe event and an enjoyable ride for everyone that day. During the day I found all the fixing of having a good time. They had a Motorcycle ride to the Children Hospital, food, vendors, and music. Everyone enjoyed meeting old riding friends that you haven’t seen over the winter months. The biggest plus of the day is helping to raise money for a good cause and seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids. What else can you ask for? I can’t wait for next year!

For more information, visit http://kelfoundation.org.