Photo by Barbara Montgomery
(From left) Wish Child and Parade Marshal Alivia is about to draw the winner of a $250 gift card to Ted’s Motorcycle World while GCS Credit Union representative Sarah Gebke holds the bag of entries and Alivia’s best friend, Hannah, looks on. The emcee was Mike “Professor” Montgomery.
A total of $18,000 was raised by generous bikers, sponsors and GCS Credit Union to make wishes come true for local children facing life-threatening medical conditions.
The third annual Ride for Wishes supported the Southern Illinois Volunteers for Make-A-Wish of Illinois to help children in Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Greene and St. Clair counties. All the money raised will be used for children in those counties.
More than 50 motorcycles and a few other vehicles left Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton Saturday for a 70-mile ride. The ride ended at Alton VFW Post 1308, where more than 100 participants were treated to a barbecue dinner catered by Carver’s of Godfrey. The event also offered prizes and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses.
“This was our best year ever,” principal organizer Norma Glazebrook said. “I’m so happy that we will be able to help more children thanks to the motorcyclists and our great sponsors, especially GCS Credit Union.”
Glazebrook has been a Make-A-Wish volunteer for 20 years.
GCS Credit union was the event’s signature sponsor. In addition to financial support, GCS gave away a gift certificate to Ted’s Motorcycle World as well as bandannas and other goodies. The credit union, which has offices throughout the area, including one in Alton, is celebrating its 75th year in business.
GCS Community Relations Representative Sarah Gebke told the bikers her organization was proud to sponsor such an event to help children and said she is already looking forward to next year’s ride.
A special thanks goes to Illinois State Police Trooper Jarrod Leckrone. The motorcycle officer rode ahead of the group to clear traffic at intersections. He also coordinated with the Alton, Jerseyville and Grafton police departments to ensure the safety on motorcyclists and citizens alike.