Honda's Ride for Kids Raises $62,724

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
"It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a country to find a cure."Those were the inspiring words of Dr. Maryam Fouladi at the inaugural KnoxvilleHonda Hoot Ride for Kids, Saturday June 23, where 350 motorcyclists raised$62,724 to fund the ongoing research for a pediatric brain tumor cures.

The day dawned with clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures as themotorcyclists gathered at Chilhowee Park, the site of the 2001 Honda Hoot andthe start point for the Knoxville Ride for Kids. There were many smiling facesand a huge send-off as 12 motorcycle officers from the Knoxville PoliceDepartment led the way out of the Park at 9:00 am sharp. Approximately 1 hourand 15 minutes later, the motorcyclists snaked their way into the beautifulsetting of Big Ridge State Park with sirens screaming and horns honking...

The riders quickly parked their bikes and gathered a lunch on their way to thebig top tent for the "Celebration of Life". In addition to Dr. Fouladi of St.Jude's Hospital of Memphis, Tennessee, the riders were treated the specialstoryof Deborah Slowick. Last year Deborah and her husband Lou attended their firstHonda Hoot. When they returned to their Delaware home after the Hoot last year,Deborah went for her annual eye check-up. The eye doctor noted unusual pressureagainst her eye and immediately referred her to a specialist. The specialistquickly diagnosed the pressure as a large brain tumor and set out to surgicallyremove the fist-sized growth. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, Deborahwas back at work eight weeks after her surgery and came to the ride this yearwith funds from many sources, including her 5th grade D.A.R.E. students whoraised more than $500 in honor of Deborah, their special teacher.

This was a first year event in Knoxville and the riders were especiallygenerous. Skip and Renee Halback were the champion individual fundraisers,bringing $4,735 all the way from Venice, FL. Top club honors went to theTennessee Honda Riders Club of Murfreesboro, TN with $14,727. Top dealerhonorswent to Sloan's Honda of Murfreesboro, TN, whose customers brought $13,805 tofund research to find the cause and cure of child hood brain tumors. LarryAlexander was nearly speechless, with tears in his eyes, when his named waspulled as the winner of the brand new Honda motorcycle.

Congratulations to the Knoxville Task Force led by Doug and Lori Stanphill,JudyShelton, and Bill Ziegler who put together a superb first-time event. At theendof the day when the funds had all been collected and the final total tallied,$62,724 had been collected to fund research to find the cause and cure ofChildhood brain tumors.

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Brent Avis
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