On Sunday between 4,000 and 6,000 motorcycles will flood the streets of Indianapolis, IN for the 20th anniversary of the Miracle Ride, a fund-raising benefit for Riley Hospital for Children
Riders get the unique opportunity to tour around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, then an emotional ride-by of the hospital where doctors, nurses, families and children stand outside waving, and then finally on to the Lucas Oil Raceway. Organizers expect nearly $300,000 to be raised for the hospital.
"Every year we hope to raise more money than we did last year," said Holly Farabaugh, director of Marketing and Group Sponsorship with Miracle Ride. "I would love to see a $400,000 donation. That would be $50,000 more than 2012."
Miracle Ride's record is $371,225 in 2009 which also produced a record 7,000 motorcyclists. Farabaugh said reaching 10,000 riders would make the 20th anniversary that much special.
"We have a committee of about 50 people who work very hard for nine months to maintain and gain sponsors," Farabaugh said. "The event is completely paid for by sponsors so that every participant dollar goes directly to Riley."
The Miracle Ride began with an idea by motorcycle enthusiasts Rod Taylor and Michael Farabaugh to emulate the work done by A.B.A.T.E. of Indiana for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Taylor and Farabaugh did not want to compete with the MDA fund-raiser and settled on Riley. Riley Hospital receives no direct state or federal aid and relies solely on donations to operate. That first ride raised a little more than $21,000.
"Michael has fought all his life to change the negative perception people have of motorcyclists and the Miracle Ride is a great example of that fight," Holly said of her father-in-law Michael. "The biggest biker dudes shed a tear when they ride past the children standing outside Riley Hospital."
Michael Farabaugh had no direct connection with Riley when he and Taylor choose the hospital for their fund-raising efforts. Coincidentally, last year when Holly was seven months pregnant her appendix ruptured and she delivered her daughter Phebe 10 weeks early. Phebe spent her first six weeks of life at Riley.
The weekend long festivities begin on Friday and includes a silent auction, competition motorcycle drag racing, bike show, fun runs, poker runs, live music and of course what's billed as "The Big Ride." Miracle Ride registration and staging begins at 8 a.m. EST Sunday at Allison Transmission, 1 Allison Way in Indianapolis. Kickstands are up at 11 a.m.
Other Rides Scheduled this Weekend:
Riding for a Reason June 1: Conesus Lake Riders Motorcycle Club hosts this ride in Arkport, NY. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. for this ride around the Finger Lakes Region. Camp Good Days, a camp on Keuka Lake for children with cancer, marks the finish line and the focus of this fund-raising ride.
Shelia Miller Benefit Ride June 1: The 5th annual Shelia Miller Benefit Ride honors its namesake who died of cancer in 2009. Kickstands are up at 10 a.m. Saturday at Gainesville Harley-Davidson, 4125 NW 97 Blvd., in Gainesville, FL. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.
Guns N Hoses Benefit Ride June 1: This annual ride benefits Kansas City Metro Firefighters and Police Officers families in need of financial assistance resulting from unforeseen medical and health expenses. Kickstands go up at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Lenexa Christian Center, 17500 W. 87th St. Pkwy, Lenexa, KS.
Officer Down Memorial Motorcycle Rally June 1: The Palomar College Police Academy and the Hallowed Few Motorcycle Club host this 10th annual ride that benefits children of fallen police officers. Ride starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Public Safety Training Center, 184 Santar Place, San Marcos, CA.
Western States 1000 June 1-2: The 25th anniversary Western States 1000 takes participants along a 1,000 mile excursion through the Pacific Northwest. Participants leave between 4:30-6:30 a.m. Saturday at Beaverton Motorcycles, 10380 SW Cascade Ave. in Tigard, OR.
Paws & Claws Poker Run June 2: The name says it all - this 2nd annual ride benefits the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, IL. First bike out at 10 a.m. Sunday from Fox River Harley-Davidson, 131 S. Randall Rd. in St. Charles, IL.
Ride for Kids June 2: Ride for Kids benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and features numerous rides throughout the country during the year. This weekend kickstands are up in Atlanta, GA and Virginia.
QRU Fundraiser June 2: This 6th annual event raises funding for and involves a motorcycle challenge run at eight different Quick Responders Unit locations in Southern Idaho. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Sunday at Twin Falls County Fairgrounds, 215 Fair Ave. in Filer, ID.
Written By: AndrewT