Ride for Kids Sarasota 2009
It was Sunday morning and fifteen bikes headed out to Sarasota to join the other members of our chapter that had volunteered for the event and were already at the Sarasota County Technical Institute site. The weather really cooperated. It was cool and just a great day for the ride.
Upon arrival we registered and mingled among the other riders that were from the many other motorcycle organizations that supported this event. There was time to grab some coffee, a roll or one of the other snacks that had been prepared for us.
The local law enforcement teams did a great job of supporting the event and helped make the ride an enjoyable one. The route took us through the rural areas east of Sarasota , through the Myakka State Park, and then returned to the Technical Institute. In all it took about an hour and a half, and it was a continuous ride without having to stop. When we returned we headed for a large tent where we sat to eat a bag lunch and some refreshments that had been provided for us.
The Celebration of Life then got underway. We were introduced to eight local children that were brain tumor survivors. Their parents related to us the emotional roller coaster rides that they, the doctors and their children have gone through. It is heart wrenching to hear the experiences that these kids have gone through. Particularly touching was hearing from Michael as he related to us that he had received a letter from one of his friends, another boy that had a brain tumor, and that shortly after he received the letter that his friend had lost his battle.
One thing that we learned is that these kids really have the determination to fight these forms of cancer. What they ask and thank us for is that we help provide the means to win their battle with this disease.
Dr. Stapelton gave a short talk about the advancements that have recently occurred, but still reiterated that we have a long way to go.
At the conclusion of the event we had the opportunity to take some pictures with the kids. We have added these pictures below as well as a short video that the local TV station aired.
Please note that in the video clip that our soon-to-be chapter director on the Valkerie (Tracy) isn't wearing a helmet. That is because he gave it Richard, one of the of the kids who needed a helmet to go on the ride.
At about 1 PM we headed back to Clearwater. Some of our members were able to stop for the Leigh Nolan Memorial- UPARC charity fund raiser, which is in honor of the daughter of one of our new members. http://www.leighnolan.com/
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