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Three Ride for Kids® events equal one big weekend for PBTF


What do motorcyclists in Illinois, New York and Minnesota have in common? They all joined Ride for Kids® events to show their support for children with brain tumors yesterday. The three rides raised over $337,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF).

Many of these “stars” led the riders on a route that went through rural northwest suburbs and criss-crossed the Fox River. Back at the college, the kids expressed their gratitude.

Ride gives “life and hope” in Chicagoland

Now in its 24th year, the Chicagoland Ride for Kids® continues to be one of the PBTF’s largest events. This year 1,400 participants raised $197,191 in support of young people like Mady, Teagan, Katrina, Rosie, Lilly, Casey, Stephanie, Melanie, Kaitlyn, Corey, and Carra.

"Thank you for opening your heart and coming here today,” said 7-year-old Katrina. “Ride for Kids means life and hope,” added Casey, 22.

Dr. Jason Fangusaro of Children’s Memorial Hospital agreed, saying, “Over 3,500 families are diagnosed each year with a journey full of fear, but you give them hope.”

The top fundraisers were:

  • Individuals: John, Julie & Johnny Runzel, $34,160
  • Motorcycle club/chapter: Wings Over the Prairie, $45,480
  • Motorcycle business: Nielsen Enterprises, $78,079
  • Special organization: In Memory of Dick Scaldone, $7,715

Drawing prizes went to Stacia Skinner (Honda motorcycle); Errol Westergaard (Dunlop tire); John Runzel (AGV helmet); Bob Lombard (Tourmaster luggage); and Ben Brown (Cardo Scala Rider).

The Chicagoland Ride for Kids® requires a tremendous amount of planning and teamwork. Many thanks to this year’s volunteer leaders, Carol Sevrey, Julie Runzel, Terry Devoy, Bob Wagner, and Rick Montgomery.


Utica RFK 2012 Ryan


Ryan’s smile lights up a cloudy day in Utica.

It’s all about the stars in upstate New York
Skies were cloudy but spirits were bright at the PBTF’s 15th Utica Ride for Kids® yesterday. The event attracted over 400 people and raised $92,315.

As the ride left the volunteer fire department in Deerfield, it was led by several young brain tumor survivors, including Ryan, C.J., Cassandra, Mackenzie, Vinny, Hunter, Cassie, and Josh.

Winding roads took the riders into Adirondack Mountain State Park and past scenic lakes on the way to Old Forge Pavilion in the Town of Webb.

After lunch the crowd heard from the children, as well as a pediatric oncology nurse from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Melissa Barringer said that her patients have affected her in a personal way.

“I named my son after one of the stars who passed away in our hospital,” she said. “These kids are like my own family.”

The leading fundraisers were:

  • Individual: Charlie Portis, $10,418
  • Motorcycle club/chapter: GWRRA NY-N, $10,361
  • Motorcycle business: Sportline Power Products, $13,027
  • Special organization: In Memory of Brian Brosmer, $6,815

Congratulations to the event’s drawing prize winners: Clifford Bonesteel (Honda motorcycle); Jeff Semran (Dunlop tire); Brett Catlin (AGV helmet); Doreen Lewis (Tourmaster luggage); and Donna Granger (Cardo Scala Rider).

Utica’s task force was led for the first time this year by Jason and Melanie Passolt, with assistance from Lesley Grogan and many other dedicated volunteers.


Minnesota RFK 2012


Minnesota star Catrina (right) gives her ride a thumbs up.

Minnesota makes a difference for 20 years
Minnesota motorcyclists have been supporting Ride for Kids® for 20 years, and they celebrated this milestone yesterday by raising $47,496 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation®.

They did it for brain tumor survivors like Domenick, Jewell, Josh, and Catrina, who joined them at Century College in White Bear Lake for the 50-mile lakeside ride.

Later the crowd of 200 heard from these stars, some of their parents, and Dr. Anne Bendel of the Children’s Hospital Clinics in Minneapolis.

“It’s important for families to know they are not alone,” said Dr. Bendel. “They have all of you supporting them next door and throughout the community.”

The event’s top fundraisers were:

  • Individuals: Andrea St. George & Sam MacKenzie, $5,646
  • Motorcycle club/chapter:CMA Crosswinds #671, $6,314.09
  • Motorcycle business:Moon Motorsports, $9,685
  • Special organization: Jimmy’s Food andDrink, $4,205

Minnesota’s drawing prize winners were: Gail Goettl (Honda motorcycle); Sarah Bergman (Dunlop tire); Jodie Prax (AGV helmet); Jesse Holt (Tourmaster luggage); and George Naim (Cardo Scala Rider).

The Minnesota Ride for Kids® is a labor of love for the volunteers who organize it. This year’s team leaders were Sam MacKenzie, Andrea St. George, Joe and Linda Cartier, and Denis and Elaine Hosnich.

About the PBTF Ride for Kids®
Ride for Kids® supports the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF) by funding medical research and family support programs. We thank our presenting sponsor, Honda Riders Club of America, and our national insurance sponsor, GEICO. The next Ride for Kids® event is Sunday, July 22 in Marysville, Ohio. Learn more at or call 800-253-6530.

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