“Ride for the Children” marks 20 years of raising funds for severely health compromised children
Each year, the “Ride for the Children” benefits Lake Taylor’s pediatric unit by raising funds for much-needed medical equipment, supplies and special programs. The money generated from the Ride helps improve the quality of life for hospital children with special needs all year ‘round.
Ordinarily this annual “Ride” takes place in December, but COVID restrictions last year necessitated postponing it until restrictions allowed for an in-person event. But since 2020 would have been the 20th anniversary, the occasion was pushed-back a few months rather than cancelled.
As with past years, approximately 110 riders started out at Southside Harley-Davidson in Virginia Beach on Sunday morning, July 11. After a short ride down Virginia Beach Blvd., the riders arrived at Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital off Kempsville Road in Norfolk. After visiting with some of the hospital’s special children, some socializing and reminiscing, the riders were treated to a hearty breakfast of sausage gravy and biscuits, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs—and lots of coffee and orange juice.
Tom Orsini, president and CEO of Lake Taylor gave his traditional welcome remarks and congratulated the riders for 20 amazing years persevering through rain, snow, freezing cold temperatures, road closures – and now a global pandemic. Tamera Ferguson, director of the office of volunteers, recapped the history of each year’s contribution from 2001 until now – leading up to the grand reveal of the 20-year cumulative total: $55,732.32!
Fundraising for this coming December’s ride has already begun, even with many traditional riders away for summer vacation. Proceeds from the limited edition eBike raffle ($600), pre-ride and day-of contributions ($600), and other donations, collected another $3,103.
Finally, the “Ride for the Children” chairperson, Jo Ann Emmons, was honored by NewsChannel 3 as one of its “People Taking Action.” Jo Ann was surprised by WTKR newscaster Beverly Kidd who covered the Ride, presented her with a special award and interviewed her for the Ch. 3 news.
Fast Facts from the Ride for the Children
Youngest rider: Tyler Daniel Ethan Mitchell, a ‘tween who rides with his father who is a member of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Dept.
The largest group: The Punishers 7 Cities* which raised funds before the Ride and presented a cash donation of over $1,100 at the event.
Farthest out-of-town rider: Michael Hankins from Montgomery, Ala. from the Punishers Alabama Chapter.
Participants who have attended all 20 “Rides”:
- Thomas (Ziggy) Siegler
- Bobby Arrington
- Barbara Evans
- Alan Evans* (*has provided the Ride Pins and awards for the past 20 years; and has personally matched the 50/50 drawing donation several times)
- Richard McDaniel
- Jo Ann Emmons
- Thomas Orsini (President/CEO of Lake Taylor)
- Tammy Ferguson (Director, Office of Volunteers)
- Various representatives from f the Auxiliary
- The Punishers 7 Cities
- Blue Knights Va. V
- Tidewater Harley Owners Group, Va. Beach
- The Red Knights
- Plus various other individuals who do not belong to a group
Donations over the years:
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