Last week we talked to Grand Prairie Police Chief Dye, co-founder of MotorCops for Kids. He told us what makes MotorCops for Kids different from any other toy ride and gave advice for ruling the obstacle course. This week we want to provide more details on the event itself and what happens with funds raised. For that, we talked to co-founder Jerry Patterson.
*Read last week's article here.
MOTORCOPS FOR KIDS AND SHRINERS
Shriners hospitals for children is a network of nonprofit medical care centers across the United States. They treat children with severe burns, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic conditions and birth defects like cleft lip and palate. Medical care for any of these conditions is extremely costly, and takes weeks, months or years.
At Shriners Hospitals, families receive the care they need for free. To qualify for care, patients simply must be under 18 years old. There are no requirements for religion, race or connection to a Shriner.
The organization has helped kids from all over the world. The hospitals also provide innovative research aimed at improving treatment and care quality. Many medical practices that are common at all healthcare facilities today were pioneered at Shriners hospitals.
"Because of the toy run I became a Mason and Shriner myself," Jerry said. The Shriners is a society established in 1870. It's a men's organization based on fun, fellowship and the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.
Funds raised at the MotorCops for Kids toy ride go to hospitals in Galveston and Houston. So far the ride has raised $376,500 for children and collected 14,884 toys. This year event coordinators hope to pass the $400,000 mark.
RIDE YOUR MOTORCYCLE, HELP KIDS
So far, more than 24,180 motorcycles have participated in the event that does so much good for burn victims and those with orthopedic needs. When you choose to participate, you bring hope to children who have experienced extreme tragedy.
This year in April a 14-year-old boy named Jorge was helping his uncle mix concrete when he had a life-threatening accident. There were electrical cords he didn't notice in his area, and Jorge became tangled in them and was severely burned. Doctors at the hospital told his family he might not survive the night. He was flown to the Shriners Hospital in Galveston, where he started the fight for his life in ICU. Because of the care he received, Jorge is preparing to return home, finish school and pursue his dream of becoming a boxer.
In June, when a volcano erupted in Guatemala, Shriners Hospital sent an emergency medical team there to treat children with life-threatening burns. They worked side-by-side with local hospitals and transferred six children and their guardians to Galveston for treatment.
One of the most famous recipients of Shriner's Hospital care is Kechi Okwuchi. The America's Got Talent singer wows audiences with amazing story as much as her incredible vocal performances. When she was 16, Okwuchi almost died in a plane crash. She had more than 100 surgeries at the Shriners hospital for Children in Galveston.
The hospital provides counseling and therapy for children undergoing treatment, and music therapy was a big part of her treatment. Kechi said music and singing are what helped her survive. She performed one of her first concerts for other patients.
Funds raised at the annual MotorCops for Kids event also help victim's families. "We have efficiency apartments for parents while their child is there for treatment," Jerry said, "And we provide transportation for those kids all the way through."
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The event starts at Dallas Harley-Davidson® in Garland, Texas, with registration from 10 a.m. until noon. The ride itself starts at 1:30 p.m. with an extended ride through Rowlett, Rockwall and other DFW areas. Grand Prairie and Garland police "motor jocks" participate, escorting riders and managing every intersection so participants cruise through red lights and stop signs, never having to put a foot down. Spectators line the streets to watch the motorcycles go by.
The ride ends at the Hella Shrine Center near the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, but the event lasts all day. There are bike games and an auction that includes a hand-sewn quilt. Police officers set up the obstacle course and slow ride and bikers can go through as many times as they wish to try and improve their time. There are trophies for bike game winners.
MOTORCOPS FOR KIDS REGISTRATION
Registration includes a pin for the first 500 entries. Bring a donation of toys like sports balls, games, dolls, Legos and make-up. Register at the event or send your event registration form and $10 to Dallas Harley-Davidson®, 1334 W. Centerville Road, Garland Texas 75041. If you have questions call Rachel Gilham at 972-270-3962 or fill out our online contact form.