CULLMAN, Ala. – Saturday yielded a good turnout for the first Children’s Miracle Network Benefit Ride at the Southern Wal-Mart located on Olive Street. All the money raised from the ride will go to Children’s of Alabama Hospital.
Ride organizer Yvonne Roden wistfully shared what inspired her to put the ride together. “I had a son that at Children’s Hospital, matter of fact we (the riders) went across the bridge that he died on, that he wrecked on the way up here; I have a stepdaughter that spent about two months at Children’s when she was three months old, with a collapsed lung, and RSV, and I have a niece that had two open heart surgeries at Children’s, at eight days old,” said Roden.
She smiled and continued, “Children’s Hospital has a big place in my heart. It’s one of those things. Give back to them, those kids, they can’t help it that their sick and most parents can’t afford that type of medical care.” She also noted that so far, the Southern Wal-Mart location has raised $31,000 for Children’s Miracle Network as of 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Just the ride on Saturday raised $1,300, with 53 riders who participated.
Roden was positive with the turnout, “I’m happy with it, it’s more than what I expected, thanks to Charlotte and Larry, it’s a lot more than I expected. And I had been told other numbers, but I’m good with it.” Roden also shared that some of her coworkers were skeptical with the ride, “They were like ‘A bike? You think you’re gonna raise money with a bike ride?’ I was like, ‘Obviously, y’all don’t know bikers, yes we will raise money, they will do everything for kids.”
The ride featured a route that went through Blountsville, Locust Fork, Cleveland, and ended in Blount Springs at About Bikes, LLC, where a lunch was served for riders on arrival. At the end, Roden smiled and stated, “We’re gonna do it again! We’re gonna do it every year.”