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Tampa Bay Ride for Kids 2011

By Deborah Speicher

Last year, a fellow riding buddy asked me to support an annual ride that he had been doing for some years now. So on Sunday, November 6, 2011 I joined him and about 300 other riders for the annual Ride for Kids to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The ride started and ended at the Walter Heinrich Training Center out on County Road 39 in Lithia, which gave us a great starting point for some scenic riding.

This was a really nice event and, as I found out, not only do riders contribute to participate but they are also asked (if they have a large cruiser or a side car) to take some of the children as passengers. These children have had brain tumors and endured serious surgeries. Being able to make their day was priceless!

The ride was police escorted thanks to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and was approximately 40 miles of back roads. Lunch was included with the rider’s donation and served up as soon as the ride got back. We were then thanked by the children; some of whom were a little older, but stressed that without the research that has been done they would not be here. Dr. Stacie Stapleton from All Children’s Hospital (St. Petersburg) was also on hand to educate us on the great strides they are making in treating pediatric brain tumors.

Several groups and individuals were then thanked for their efforts in helping this event reach a total of $37,715 for the day. Actually, some of the participants hold smaller events and collect funds all year long to make this riding event such a success. Kudos to Hap’s Cycle Sales and Hap’s Gulf Coast Riders who each collected in excess of $10,000. Before it was over, a brand new Honda motorcycle along with other generous prizes were won. Well, I didn’t win a new motorcycle but I certainly came away with a good feeling and enjoyed the day. See you all next year!

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