Riders, please join us on June 30th to take part in Children’s Ride 18!

Written by Diana Olmstead

The proceeds of this fantastic charity ride and fun event go to the Seattle Children’s Hospital Uncompensated Care Program. This program helps thousands of local families pay for the medical bills directly associated with treating a sick or injured child at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

I can’t imagine a more worthy reason to get out and ride than knowing that you are directly helping a local child and family who are suffering.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is committed to providing the best medical care to every child in Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – regardless of insurance coverage or financial circumstances. Approximately 46% of their patients are covered by Medicaid, a government program that provides medical coverage at no cost to low-income families. However, the program reimburses Children’s for only 71% of treatment costs. Uncompensated care makes up the difference.

Families with private insurance are also struggling financially as a result of job losses and reductions in health care benefits. Many are paying “out-of-pocket” for services that were once covered by insurance. Some families who used to make a co-payment per hospital admission are now paying the same amount per day. When a hospital bill exceeds a family’s ability to pay, Children’s financial assistance program provides relief. In 2011, the need for uncompensated care exceeded $103 million.

Nationally, Children’s Hospital is ranked in the top ten for kidney disorders, cancer, urology, respiratory disorders, neurology and neurosurgery. Seattle Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest to make the list.

The Imagine Guild and Children’s Ride was founded in 1995 by Rick Baldwin. In 1974 Rick was a young married father and struggling musician without any medical insurance for his family. His little girl Tessa was just a year old. While at home one day, Tessa reached up and pulled a percolating coffee pot off the counter, scalding her little body. She was immediately taken to a local hospital who determined that they could not provide the type of in depth medical treatment needed for burns of this magnitude. Tessa was then life-flighted to Seattle Children’s Hospital. She was critically injured, suffering 3rd degree burns to her neck, shoulder, chest and arms. She spent 3 1/2 months in intensive care undergoing numerous painful skin grafts.

While Rick and his wife Constance were at their daughter’s bedside at Seattle Children’s Hospital they learned that the hospital had an Uncompensated Care Program for families who are unable to pay for their child’s medical expenses. Much to their surprise and relief this program paid for all of Tessa’s hospital bills. Always wanting to repay the hospital for the care his family received, Rick combined his love for motorcycles with his gratitude for Children’s Hospital and in 1995 the idea for Children’s Ride was born.

Flash forward to this year’s Children’s Ride 18 – The Imagine Guild has made a major change that is sure to please new and longtime Children’s Ride riders – This year it will be an escorted group ride! In addition to that, this year’s Children’s Ride 18 special guest is Sean McNabb, an actor on the popular television show Sons of Anarchy who is also a well-known rock musician and longtime motorcycle rider.

Sean was kind enough to take some time out of his incredibly busy schedule to do an interview with me even though he is currently in the midst of filming a new movie “A Remarkable Life” with Eric Roberts and Marie Avgeropoulos. In addition to his acting commitments, he also is the bassist for the well-known heavy metal band Dokken.

I asked Sean, “When and what inspired you to get into music and acting?”

Sean replied that “It all started when I was a kid, I had been studying acting in the Theatre. Then when I was 10 years old, my parents took me to see The Who’s rock-opera, Tommy. I was completely captivated by it and by The Who’s bassist John Entwhistle. I admit I didn’t understand all of it, I was only 10 years old, but I was hooked, it definitely changed the course of my life. By the time I reached my teen years I was playing bass and singing in lots of local bars and nightclubs in Indiana where I lived.”

I asked, “How does a guy go from playing local bars in Indiana to playing with some of the biggest rock bands around?”

Sean said, “Well I moved to Los Angeles when I was 21 to hit the Sunset Strip. That’s where all of the action was. Within a matter of weeks, I became the bass player for Quiet Riot.”

I couldn’t help but grin when he mentioned the band as I’m a huge fan. My old high school boyfriend and I would listen to their head banging music non-stop back in the 80’s, known as the ‘big hairsprayed hair days’.

Sean went on to say, “I played with Great White for several years and then from ’04 to ’08 I subbed with Dokken. In 2009 I joined Dokken full time as their bass player and we’re still playing tour dates.”

In addition, Sean has recorded over 35 CD’s in his discography. He has toured and recorded with Quiet Riot, House of Lords, Great White, Lynch Mob, Montrose, Bad Moon Rising, Rough Cutt and XYZ.

“Besides Sons of Anarchy what other TV and film projects have you done?” I ask.

Sean replied, “Let’s see, off the top of my head, I’ve appeared in a couple of films – Four Christmas’ and The Obsession come to mind. In regards to TV, I’ve appeared on Community, NCIS LA and several commercials. I’ve also done a few musicals.”

“So Sean, I know you love to ride motorcycles, what do you ride?” I asked.

“I have 3 bikes. I have a ’97 Softail I named ‘Elvis’, I have an ’05 Dyna that I ride on Sons of Anarchy and I have a ’02 Texas Ironhorse Chopper with an S&S 107 cubic-inch motor named Black Betty” he replied.

I asked Sean “What made you want to get involved in Children’s Ride 18?”

He replied, “I’m all about charity and giving back. I’ve been clean and sober for 9 years and I’ve been with my fiancé Christine Devine who’s a LA news anchor for 8 years. We’re both involved with several charities; we do Harley rides, golf tournaments and public speaking. For me getting clean and sober woke me up, it changed me, it made me want to give back. I am thrilled to be involved in this ride for Children’s Hospital. I have supported Children’s Hospital in the past when I attended a charity golf tournament they did a few years ago. No question about it, their Uncompensated Care Program is and has been desperately needed by so many families, year after year, who have a sick or injured child at the hospital.”

Be sure to look for Sean on Sunday. He’ll be leading the ride from Downtown H-D to the Enumclaw Expo Center. Registration, check in and staging will start at Downtown H-D in Renton at 8am. The official ride will begin with kickstands up at 10am. Bikes should arrive at the Expo Center around 11am.

That’s where the event will kick into high gear! It all starts with a catered BBQ lunch, a beer garden, live music by Magic Bus and Spike O’Neill will be emceeing! There will be vendors, a custom and vintage motorcycle show, a performance by the Seattle Cossacks and an awards ceremony!

* On Saturday, the 30th (The night before the Ride), Destination H-D in Tacoma will be hosting the Children’s Ride Auction Party! Come enjoy this festive evening with hosted wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres and dessert. There will be live and silent auctions with Spike O’Neill as the auctioneer! This year’s auction bike is a 2013 H-D touring model with 103 ci engine and six speed transmission donated by Downtown H-D and Destination H-D. The extremely talented and longtime Children’s Ride supporter, Keith Wong and his crew of Zacky’s Custom Rods are donating $5000 in labor and paint to customize the winning bidder’s new bike!

The Quick Throttle Staff looks forward to attending, supporting and seeing our readers on Sunday, June 30th for Children’s Ride 18. Remember, one day it could be your family member or friend who needs assistance from the Uncompensated Care Program because their child is at Children’s Hospital’s receiving some of the best care in our nation.

For more Children’s Ride 18 info check out the ads on pages 3 & 21 and check out their website at www.childrens-ride.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/childrensride.

About Diana Olmstead