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Honda's Ride for Kids raises $247,240

An incredible 2200 riders and participants raised $247,240 to fund research the badly needed research to find the cause and cure of childhood brain tumors at the Northbrook, Illinois Ride for Kids on Sunday July 15, 2001.

There was a flurry of activity as the sun was beginning to rise at the Allstate Insurance Company headquarters in Northbrook. The beautifully manicured lawns at the Allstate facility had been especially prepared for this date, as this was to be the site of the start of the 13th annual Chicago area Ride for Kids. It was a huge thrill to all as they saw the parking lot fill with motorcycles of all types. Big John Howell of radio station US 99.5 thanked everyone for coming and at 9:30 am sharp there were huge cheers as the near endless column of motorcycles made their way into the Northern suburbs of Chicago. Police officers from 20 different agencies on motorcycles, on foot and in 4 wheelers led the ride, blocked intersections and provided a smooth, safe nonstop ride through the villages and countryside surrounding Northbrook...

Of special note was George Appleman from Missouri, who rode his 500cc sport bike some 500 miles to be a part of this special event. George lost his 16 year old son just 21 months ago to this dreadful monster known as brain cancer. He came on this day to celebrate the 16 years he had with his son and to urge us all on in our fight to end the disease. Dr. Jim Ruffer, a Pediatric Neuro Radiology Oncologist, shared how important the research is, and how the significant improvements in brain tumor treatments that have occurred during the last ten years are the result of this research. There was a huge roar of approval when he shared that his wife was participating on her motorcycle and that he had already signed up for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course so that he could participate on his own motorcycle next year.

As always, it was the kids on the stage who were the stars. There is nothing like seeing these kids, who never give up, to make every participant wish they could do more. Other special attendees included the Toys for Tots bear, "Skates" the mascot of the Chicago Wolves and Marcus Robinson of the Chicago Bears.

Congratulations to Northbrook top fundraiser Ted Nielsen who brought $12,630 to fund the programs of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the US. A new national record was set for club fundraising efforts with GWRRA Illinois chapter G2 bringing $53, 064. Top dealer honors at the Northbrook ride also set a new national record with Des Plaines Honda's customers bringing $68,977. John Runzel was the excited winner of the brand new Honda motorcycle.

Hats Off to Task Force leaders Vito Racanelli and Bob Wagner and to all the volunteer Task Force members for organizing such a great event. At the end of the program, there were 5 smiling kids holding up a giant check showing that the 2200 participants had raised $247,240 to fund research the badly needed research to find the cause and cure of childhood brain tumors.

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