The 1st Annual Ride Iowa Motorcycle Ride to benefit the Central Iowa Chapter of the March of Dimes was a huge success bringing in nearly $20,000.00. On Saturday, July 21, 2007 over 1000 bikes converged in Newton, Iowa, on the infield of the Iowa Speedway, for an awesome party to raise money for the March of Dimes. For a minimal registration fee of $20, donated to the March of Dimes, people gathered for a fun-filled morning. From when the gates opened at 9 am until they saddled up at 1pm for a 30 mile scenic ride along Old Hwy 6 through Newton, Colfax, Mitchellville, and into Altoona, there was plenty to do.
The crowd was kept busy visiting vendors such as J&P Cycles, Chapman’s Boss Hoss Cycles, Iowa Legends Cars, Custom Paint Specialists, and the Iowa Speedway souvenir trailer to name a few.
While some bikers visited the vendors others participated in the motorcycle rodeo, took photos around the speedway, wandered the long rows of bikes, and bought raffle tickets. And talk about prizes – items ranged from hotel stays, restaurant certificates, leather vests, t-shirts, i-pods, car rental, to spa treatments and much more. I personally won two tickets to the local comedy club, The Funny Bone, and a $25 certificate to Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant. I wasn’t as lucky as Vincent Taylor of Pleasant Hill, Iowa as he won the big prize drawing for the 2007 Harley Davidson 883 Sportster donated from Zylstra Harley-Davidson in Ames, Iowa.
If you just wanted to hang out and enjoy the food and drinks you could kick back while listening to the awesome band Loose Neutral, from Marshalltown, Iowa, as they cranked out a unique blend of high energy classic rock, pop, and country rounded out by tight, four and five part vocal harmonies. Check out their site (www.loosenuetral.com) for their schedule and go enjoy a good show!
If you happened to get lost in the crowds just search out the four gals from the Iowa Bikini Team to direct your way. Amber, Chris, Lindsy, and Theresa, were on hand for plenty of photo ops. Even better was the chance to ride into the Iowa Speedway Winner’s Circle and have your photo taken with the girls and your bike. What a Kodak moment that was for a few fellas!
At noon attention was given to the need for this fundraiser. Along with her husband Chris and son Braden, Carissa Sauer shared her family’s personal struggle with Braden’s premature birth and the dire need the March of Dimes has for money for continued research, education, advocacy, and community services (www.marchofdimes.com). Each year in Iowa alone over 5000 babies are born preterm (less than 37 completed weeks gestation), over 3000 babies are born late preterm (34-36 completed weeks gestation) and over 700 babies are born very preterm (less than 32 weeks gestation).
Braden was born 10 weeks early weighing 1# 11oz and only 12 inches long. He spent his first 11 weeks in the hospital, all of it in the NICU, while his parents waited and watched, day after day, for their son to grow and learn what most babies are born capable of doing. Simple things like breathing, swallowing, eating were all having to be taught as Braden grew healthier and stronger. After 77 days in the hospital Braden was able to come home with the use of oxygen and plenty of medication. As everyone saw during the gathering, Braden is now a healthy, and very energetic, three year old. His love for music kept him exploring the stage and band equipment while his mom shared their amazing story. Carissa now volunteers in the NICU at Mercy Hospital to help encourage and educate other parents of preterm babies. Her work with the March of Dimes has placed her as the Volunteer Outreach Chairperson for volunteers for the Central Iowa Chapter. In closing Carissa expressed her and her family’s deepest appreciation to the organizers, supporters, and all the bikers for their care and support. What a lucky moment for all those in attendance to share together.
Dan Beougher, owner of O’Kelly’s Steak & Pub and agent of Farmer’s Insurance Group, in Baxter, Iowa said it was a great event that came off without any problems. One comment overheard many times was how the bikers enjoyed seeing all the residents lining the sidewalks and sitting in front yards to watch and wave to the riders as they came through each town.
Dan says planning for the 2nd Annual Ride Iowa Motorcycle Rally for the March of Dimes will be getting underway after a couple weeks of rest. He says the organization is already planning a bigger and better gathering for next year. Mark your calendars to check into it next summer!
If you can make time yet this year plan to register and attend the Kansas City Bikers for Babies Ride on Sunday, September 16, 2007, at the Kansas Speedway. (www.bikersforbabieskc.com). Last year for their 13th Annual Ride sponsors and riders raised $482,000 to support the March of Dimes.
See ya on an Iowa road. CHAR