More than $10,000 was raised for Cystic Fibrosis research during the Rhythm and Roll motorcycle ride that kicked off at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, went to Pigeon Forge and ended at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell.
Between 45 and 50 riders participated in the event, East Tennessee Medical Group respiratory therapist Rick Carver said. Carver is also president of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Tennessee Society for Respiratory Care.
“It looked like we raised over $10,000 gross. Last year we raised a little over $2,000, so we really busted it. It was great,” Carver said.
During registration at Children’s Hospital, Valerie and Phillip Sharp played music and Waste Connections, Inc., had their tailgating garbage truck serving refreshments. Members of the Dixie Iron Riders motorcycle riding group also went into the hospital and spoke with youngsters suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.
“The riders gave them American flags and do-rags with Riders for Research written on them. That brought smiles to the kids’ faces and actually brought tears to some of the riders,” Carver said.
As the riders sped away from the hospital, a banner was stretched across the road, and the children in the hospital watched from a window. “The kids had do-rags on and isolation masks on and were waving their flags and watching from a window as the riders busted through banner and took off on the ride to Pigeon Forge,” Carver said. “The ride ended at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson. It was a really good atmosphere.”
Carver said East Tennessee Medical Group raised about $2,000 with sponsors and different activities such as a lunch and sponsoring their CEO Ron German at $.02 a mile for the ride.
The Tennessee Society of Respiratory Care donated $500 in different items. “We supplied sponsor shirts and sponsored a talk by two nurse practitioners from Cystic Fibrosis Center at Children’s Hospital,” he said of Judy Marciel and Casey Norris, who talked on what Cystic Fibrosis is and the treatment for it.
More money is still being collected from the event. “It was a really, really good time,” he said.
Cure Finders and Rick Carver organized the event. Cure Finders has been raising funds for research since 2000 and was started by Jim Deanda and Barbara Gray who have two children with Cystic Fibrosis, Callie and Cale.
Cure Finders gives money to different types of organizations such as Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Their goals are find a cure by raising funds for research and raising awareness about the disease, Carver said.
Carver thanked Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson Buell for their help in the event. More information about Curefinders can be seen at www.curefinders.org.
Sponsors for Rhythm and Roll were Cure Finders Foundation, Designs by Pinkie, Dixie Iron Riders, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, East Tennessee Medical Group, Food City, No Way Jose’s Cantina, Resp 1 Care, Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals, Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson & Buell, Tennessee Society for Respiratory Care and Waste Connections, Inc.