The hottest day of the year - 96 degrees with 108 degrees heat index did not deter AGWA-IL Chapter H and 2000+ motorcyclists from supporting the Northbrook Ride For Kids on Sunday, July 21st.
Once again, AGWA-IL Chapter H volunteered to help out with registration, greeting, premium distribution and photography. This year, despite the heat over $281,000 was raised to support research for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
For a glimpse of what it was like:
to visit the album.
Mike & Sue Hanus
AGWA-IL Chapter H
Here's the official press release from the Northbrook, IL Ride for Kids® :
Asheville, NC – A blazing Chicago summer sun was no match for the radiant
warmth that poured forth from more than 2300 participants at the 2002 Northbrook,
IL Ride for Kids® on Sunday, July 21. When the tally was completed,
a whopping $281,205 had been raised to fund the ongoing search for the
cause and cure of the deadliest children’s disease in America, pediatric
Meanwhile, 770 miles to the east, 450 motorcyclists and volunteers in
Utica, NY raised a record $69,096 at the Utica Ride for Kids® to support
the research and family support programs of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
of the U.S. (PBTFUS).
The combined funds from the Utica and Northbrook Ride for Kids®
events – $350,301 – represent a new one-day record for the Ride for Kids®
The Northbrook Ride for Kids® marked the 14th year of the event
in the Chicagoland area. The morning dawned clear and warm, and by the
afternoon the mercury had climbed to a scorching 98 degrees. Thanks to
an extensive pre-event media campaign by Allstate Insurance Co., which
hosted the ride at their sprawling national office complex in Northbrook,
a large number of first-time participants - estimated at 20 percent - were
on hand to enjoy the camaraderie and spirit of the day.
The ride was escorted by 15 local police agencies through numerous villages
and towns on the north side of Chicago, to the great pleasure of thousands
of onlookers who came out of their homes and businesses along the route
to cheer the riders. Once the motorcyclists arrived back at the Allstate
campus, they gathered under a big-top tent for the Celebration of Life
Dr. Jim Ruffer, a pediatric radiation neuro oncologist, told the group
that research has successfully developed improved methods of radiation
treatment for children’s brain tumors. He also described the excitement
researchers share as they investigate new ways to attack tumor cells in
the laboratory, with the intention of one day treating actual childhood
On a day that drew local celebrities like US99’s Big John Howell and
Chicago Bears wide receiver Marcus Robinson, the real stars of the day
were the seven brain tumor patients who came on stage to thank the motorcyclists
for their hard work. 12-year old Melanie Hatch brought the crowd to its
feet, tears streaming down their faces, as she led them in spirited rendition
of Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream”.
Dozens of riders collected more than the minimum $35 to ride, yet none
could best the efforts of Top Fundraiser Carol Henige, who brought $28,
234. The Top Club/Chapter was GWRRA IL-G2, which raised a remarkable $66,460.
Top Dealer Ted Nielsen, whose customers raised $71,349, asked the riders
to remember the late broadcaster Bob Collins for his generous support of
the Ride for Kids® in the early years of the event. Task Force member
Rich Zalke was the enthusiastic winner of the Honda motorcycle.
A well-deserved round of applause was offered as thanks to the Northbrook
Ride for Kids® Task Force Leaders Vito Racanelli and Bob Wagner, who
led an extremely well-organized and motivated group of more than 200 volunteers.
A special thanks was also was given to Navy Lieutenant Sara Wilson and
50 Navy volunteers from the Great Lakes Naval Station.
Riders in the Utica, NY Ride for Kids® event enjoyed a beautiful
80-degree summer day. The ride traveled along a gorgeous route through
upstate New York en route to the quaint Adirondack village of Old Forge.
At the Celebration of Life ceremony, 17-year old brain tumor survivor Gary
Hatfield, who rode his motorcycle in the event, told the assembled motorcyclists,
“Thanks go to all of you for your support of the Foundation and the research
they fund. Your efforts today are working for young kids. And we
are the future of tomorrow!”
Many of the riders worked throughout the year to raise funds for much-needed
research. The Top Fundraiser was Sharon Love, who raised $6,357. Top Club/Chapter
honors went to GWRRA NY-T, whose members collected $13,523. The Top Shop
was D & M Accessories, whose customers raised $15,604. The lucky winner
of the Honda motorcycle was Rich Gill of Dunkirk, NY.
Task Force Leaders Paul and Bobbie Duffy and Ken and Kathy Sweatman,
along with dozens of volunteers, were congratulated for their flawless
execution of the event.
Ride for Kids® events are held across the USA to support the programs
of the PBTFUS. Next weekend two Ride for Kids® events will occur -
on Saturday, July 27 in Marysville, OH and on Sunday, July 28 in St. Paul,
MN. For more information, call (800) 253-6530 or visit www.ride4kids.org.
About the PBTFUS
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the U.S. funds medical research
grants and clinical fellowships to help find the cause and cure of childhood
brain tumors. The Foundation also offers family support programs for families
with a child who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Programs include
free literature about brain tumors, the Helping Hand national newsletter,
the Informed Parent Internet Conference series and scholarships for post-secondary
education. For more information about the PBTFUS, call (800) 253-6530 or