Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2019- Zoo Run Safari for Children's

Written by  October 1, 2019

Another successful "Zoo Run Safari For Children's" event in the books! On Saturday, September the 28th, 2019, Rider's, Stars and Star families started rolling in early for the ride leaving the Barber Motorsports Museum to the Birmingham Zoo, before registration was even in place and sign ups were ready, bike after bike rolled into the parking lot, then cars carrying our Stars started rolling in.

 

  Participants enjoyed fresh donuts at registration donated by Daylight Donuts in Leeds, Alabama, and water, Gatorade & Sunny D, which we ran out of! 

  This years ride is dedicated to one of our 2018 "Stars", Princess Warrior Shelby Jernigan who was called home way too early, to shine forever bright over us from heaven. Shelby's mom came out and joined us, as I'm sure Shelby was watching over her biker family. We had a boarder-print-laminated-poster of Princess Shelby from last years ride that Staples made and donated for us to have there at the event for all of the riders to sign for mom to take home.

  Erica Barnett Brubaker and her girls set up to paint faces for our Stars, "Mr. Twister", Jondavid Franklin was on hand to twist up some pretty awesome creations. Jondavid is a childhood cancer survivor himself so this was a job that was close to his heart as well. Miss Alabama 2013, Chandler Champion, Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen 2019, Zoë' Champion and Miss Alabama USA 2019, Hannah Steadham McMurphy were there to place little Disney crowns on our Princess Stars. And Mickey & Minnie Mouse made an appearance, much to the joy of all those kids, and thanks to, Colby Gains & Abby Holderfield, along with Nancy & Jon Ryan.

  The Barber Motorsports Museum was offering a $10 entrance special to the Museum for the riders; they could start the tour that morning and come back in the afternoon to finish it, they also donated a pair of weekend passes for the up coming Vintage Festival that included the Museum, that we sold chances for along with 2, Alabama vs. Arkansas football tickets that our new sponsor Chris, with The Law Tigers had donated.

  Around noon, the families got to go into the Museum and go out back to the flyover bridge and watch the riders. Jeff "Bama" Rich, from the Bond Slaves conducted the prayer for a safe ride, before they were lead out onto the track for a few laps on the world famous track, then police escorted over to the Birmingham Zoo where we had lunch provided by, Rusty's BBQ in Leeds, Golden Flake, Bud's Best Cookies and the Coca-Cola truck that had been dropped off for us to put someone in to pour drinks for everyone. After lunch we drew for the winners of the tickets and passes before turning everyone loose in the Zoo. Lunch and Zoo entrance was included with registration, along with the rider swag bags that were donations from, Law Tigers, Mt. Cheaha H.D, Heart of Dixie H.D, Rider's H.D, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, Express Oil Change, Reli Settlement Solutions LLC & Sarah Walker with L.A.H Real Estate, who along with Judd Moore with Regions Bank were also our Family Sponsor Team Leaders, who raised the money to cover all of the families getting in the Zoo. Our Face Painter, Erica, actually got several of our kids in so that cost savings would go back to our benefactor, Children's of Alabama; she said anything she could do for those kids brought her great joy! The Birmingham Zoo also donated 20 of the kid tickets for us.

  Each of the Stars AND there siblings, were given a backpack, which were ALL donated by Mikes Merchandise in Pelham, Alabama, that was just awesome! Content donations were from, Nancy Ryan, O'Reilly's Auto in Pinson and Jim-n-Nicks BBQ. Each of the families; did I mention that there were 13 of them this year, got a family gift from places like, McWayne Science Center, Let's Play Party-Birmingham & Hoover, Wal-Mart, Target, Hooters, Imagination Place, Oak Mt Lanes, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, and my new favorite...Untamed Mountain-A Tiger Sanctuary-"Tigers For Tomorrow"! They are up in Attalla, Alabama. When I discovered them, I really found a jewel, these are the nicest folks, when I told them what we were doing, they couldn't do enough for us, not only did they provide us with an awesome Family gift, they also sent us enough passes to get in a lot of the other families as well, and she sent US one so that WE can go check them out as well; I'm so excited! Since I've been a vet tech/dog groomer since the 80's AND worked with the Wildlife Rescue Center, that is right up my alley! And our little "Tiger" fan warrior will be going for a "Private Tour", how cool is that!

  The kids and the families got a big kick out of watching the riders go around the track from the bridge going over the track, with all the different, beautiful things to see around the area as well, and they still get a kick out of the glass floor pieces in the bridge, looking down on the track; it is pretty cool! They are already talking about next year.

  We have to send out a huge Thank you out to our host venues, Barber's Motorsports Museum & the Birmingham Zoo, to all of our Donors, To our Jefferson County Police Escorts, Jeff "Bama" Rich, Rusty's BBQ, Golden Flake, Bud's Best Cookies, Cocoa-Cola, "The Help": Lisa Bonta, Vicky Vail, Fay Pitts, Donna Montgomery & Troy, Ivey Cook, our Miss Alabama's, Mickey & Minnie, "Mr. Twister", 467 Printing, Jerry Jones-Roger Miller & William for transport/loading/unloading & loading again, Misty at O'Reilly's Auto in Pinson, and most especially to our "Road Warrior Angels" (our Rider's) and of course, our "Stars", none of this would be possible without you. Thank you to our "Fallen Stars” families, The Jernigan's and The Harding's, for coming out and joining us, along with Kim Eaton and her daughter, Autumn for joining us again this year. Kim lost her own little “Angel” to this horrible “Thief of Life” and continues to do wonderful things for the kids with cancer, in her daughter's name.

  Also, we have to say just how much we appreciate the show of support,from all of the Motorcycle/Riding Clubs. Our hopes were to have a representative group from each of them, and I'd say, we're off to a pretty good start with, The Saint's, Veterans Brotherhood, Regulators, Gin Town, The Misfits, The C.M.A, Faith Rider's, The Bond Slaves,American Legion, "Spyder Rider's", and those were just the ones that I saw zip past me during the course of that very busy morning. One of the Saint's even jumped in and helped with the escorts as they neared the Zoo. It's that kind of support we love to see, the kind that will jump in there at a moments notice to help any way they can. These kids can bring even the biggest, bad ass to their knees, it's a wonderful thing......being part of the motorcycle family!

Ok….It's time to start the introduction of our 2019 "Zoo Run Safari for Children's" - "Stars"!!!

                   We’ll start today with our New Stars!

More recently, we found ourselves watching, through tears as a little pink casket was carried to its final resting place, carrying one of the 2019 "Stars", Miss Laie "Lulu" Kathleen Rayne Harding; who was also called home way too early to forever be one of the brightest stars in the heavens. Princess Lulu was lead home by her extended family, the biker community. Both little girls loved their biker family and will for sure be with us all come ride day, watching over us as their families will be joining us.

  Lulu was a bright, sweet, full of life little 6-year old princess who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Mom Grace say's she was her "little sassy pants". She loved her brothers; they were the light in her life. Her favorite colors were yellow & purple & she loved eating crawfish, one of the things that brought her happiness. Halloween was her favorite holiday, along with Christmas. “Lulu” was called home on July the 25th, 2019.

We were so glad to have Lulu’s family join us, they were after all one of our Star families and got treated just like the rest of them and we were glad to see that they enjoyed the day. We had a Star shirt made for each of our Stars, which, 467 Printing donated again this year. We took Princess Lulu’s shirt and had all the riders sign it for the family to take home as well.

Princess Warrior, Anna "A.C" Coleman Yelverton,

  Anna, "A.C" as she would prefer to be called, is a 17 year old from Demopolis, Alabama. Anna was born with Trisomy 17 Mosaicism and also had to deal with severe scoliosis. A.C loves her stuffed animals, doesn't go anywhere without her stuffed friends, they are on the top of her favorite things list with eating coming in a close second. She loves spaghetti & meatballs, You- Tube, listening to music & singing; she can be found some Sundays, singing in church.

 Warrior, Peyton Darden Abernathy,

Peyton is a 15 year old from Calera, Alabama who was diagnosed with VHR Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 8 years of age and in 2018 underwent a bone marrow transplant where his mom was his hero/donor. Peyton is a huge Star Wars and Alabama football fan, and he loves marine life, so much so that he aspires to be a marine biologist. Hopefully he will be feeling better and be able to return to Calera High School for his freshman year.

 Warrior Daniel "D.L" Allen, 

   Daniel will be turning 9; actually, on the ride date of September the 28th, so he will be spending his birthday with us, along with his brother who's birthday will be the following day! D.L was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at the age of 3 1/2, and 3 years out, he is now doing amazing! D.L loves doing karate, riding his monster truck and "Godzilla", he likes to swim and fish and watch old movies, and loves everyone and everything, especially life and the small stuff that goes along with it.

   Now….Lets get caught up on what's been happening and highlights of the year, in the lives of our returning 2018 Stars.......

 Princess Addie McIntosh,

   While she was one of our 2018 Stars, she actually didn't get to make the ride, at the last minute, they had an minor medical situation that kept them from coming, but that all quickly passed and everyone was back on the path of "somewhat" normal.  Miss Addie was chosen as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Alabama's "Girl of the Year" in 2018! Wow! Congratulations, that's pretty awesome! But actually, she's girl of the year every year in her house and in our hearts!  She took her "Make-A- Wish" trip to Disneyland, California, which included Universal Studios, and she went on to finish her treatment in May, and got a new puppy in June! Sounds like she had a pretty eventful year.

Princess Reagan Watkins,

Miss Reagan continues to shine like the princess she is, with that big smile and personality of hers. She had a blast attending the Cinderella Ball; well of course, what Princess wouldn’t. She loves to dance, so what better place to be dancing than at a Ball!

Master Samuel Mobley,

  Samuel recently returned from his "Make-A--Wish" Alabama trip as well, he went to Disney World; got to see his favorite monster from, "Monster's Inc., Mike Wazoski, host his scary comedy show; went on a safari at the animal kingdom (I would love to do that), he also got to visit the "Haunted Mansion"...3 times! Ha! Ha! Ha! .... The next Stephen King in the making!

Master Braxton Canada,

  Braxton celebrated his 1-year remission in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, their first real vacation and their first time to travel outside the state. Wow, what a good reason to celebrate and what an awesome way to do so. Congratulations bud!!! Braxton and his family have another reason to continue the celebrations, as they will be welcoming a new member of the family in January of 2020. Again, congratulations!

Princess Brianna Cordell

  Miss Brianna finished her treatment in November of 2018. Yea!!! And she celebrated her EOT AND her 5th Birthday on her "Make-A-Wish" trip to Disney World/Universal Studios and Give Kids the World. She has enjoyed swimming, this summer, playing with her new puppy, "Chip", and is looking forward to starting school in the fall

Princess Abigail Calvo,

  Abigail enjoyed going to Oneonta, Alabama, to meet up with the ride that rolled in for the "Children's Miracle Network". Larry Hardeman and a few of the bikers had gotten her raffle tickets and she won a gift card from Wal-Mart and a jewelry store gift card. The owner of the jewelry store let her get earrings and a necklace for the $50 gift card, even though the pieces were selling for more. That one-day, made her whole summer. Her mom Kimberly, say's that they lead boring lives and don't get out and go much and that Miss Abigail isn't hard to please, she enjoys the simple life, loves to be around people; bottom line, she loves everybody. I don’t think I've ever seen this little girl without that, “light-up-a-room” smile of hers.

Princess Kylie Hosey,

  Miss Kylie finished her chemo treatment this past February and she was so excited that she was able to go on a trip to see New York with her classmates. Again.. I would have loved to get to do that myself!

Master Will Thomas,

  Will got to go to Disney for his "Name-A-Wish" trip and is excited about starting kindergarten this year! As well he should be, that's a big step, important life step for a young man.  

Princess Krissy Sibley,

  Miss Krissy is like family for sure, we've been following her through the last several years, she is our only remaining Star from the Ride for Kids Ride that we rescued, we were so very honored that they joined us to pick that event up and to help carry it on. Dad Alan says that the highlight of Krissy's year was to take her "Family Gift" from last years Zoo Run Safari for Children's ride and go visit the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. Awe, that made me feel good, to know that the families are enjoying the gifts they receive from the ride.

You know, it’s one thing to do an event to raise money and awareness for something like cancer, but to do one where you can actually put your hands & eyes on the very thing that is “living” with what you are raising money for research for, to see where the benefit of said research would go, and see the great amount of joy this one little gesture brings to so many of these kids and their families, well to me, it just makes this one of the most important events of the year, a not to miss event, one that I don’t understand why it doesn't just fill that parking lot up! These kid’s eyes just light up when they see all of those bikes and riders that have come out just for them, it's really a special thing to witness! We truly feel blessed to be a part of this and hope to see this event to continue to grow each year, adding not only more riders but also to be able to increase our Star invite list! Well feel honored to be a part of these wonderful kids lives and to watch them grow each year and to continue to learn lessons from these bright young Warriors & Princess Warriors.