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In 2007, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts took to the road, traveling 465 miles from Peoria, Illinois, to Memphis to raise $90,000 for St. Jude. Now in its seventh year, the St. Jude Motorcycle Ride roared onto the St. Jude campus September 20, having raised a record-breaking $650,000.
The ride has seen an increase in fundraising every year since it began, and the seven-year event total is nearly $2.5 million. Peoria is home to St. Jude’s first affiliate clinic, which opened in 1972, and the community is a great supporter of St. Jude.
Founded by Peoria Sheriff Mike McCoy and Brad Wiebler, this year’s St. Jude Ride brought 150 motorcyclists with 76 passengers on the journey from Peoria to Memphis. Satellite rides from five cities brought the total number of riders and passengers to 375.
“There are 375 participants, but we are one big team,” said Angie Wiebler, a regional event liaison for ALSAC who manages all of the St. Jude Runs, Rides and Drives out of Peoria. She takes part in the St. Jude Ride as a passenger on her husband Brad’s motorcycle.
“It has been so rewarding to see an entirely new group of St. Jude angels emerge,” she said. “The high point of the trip for me was when we announced the total — the look of pride in the faces of our participants said it all. We are so very proud of their accomplishments, teamwork and dedication to the mission of St. Jude and our children.”
Satellite rides this year began in the following cities: Princeton and Quincy, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Davenport, Iowa, and Nashville, Tennessee. Major sponsors of the St. Jude Ride include Brewers Distributing, ELM, Drive Chevy Group, Ray Dennison Chevrolet and My Place – Yates City.