Watch the video above to learn why Arizona Bike Week Annual Hand-in-Hand charity event is so meaningful to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and check out pictures from this event on Flickr.
Evan Coppola rode for Chance. Shelley Martin rode for Brendan. Craig McKnight rode for Isaiah. Each of these bikers participated in Arizona Bike Week’s 4th Annual Hand-in-Hand Charity Ride presented by Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital. They rode for a purpose. They rode for the kids. This year they helped to raise more than $21,000 for the Hope Fund, which helps launch critical new programs, purchase essential equipment, conduct cutting-edge research, and provide charitable care for the kiddos at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, riders participated in a “Rev and Ride” every half an hourm with the last rev at 11 a.m. The ride-up registration included breakfast, a raffle ticket with a patient’s story, a commemorative gift and ticket admission into Arizona Bike Week and the Alice Cooper Concert. Limited Edition shirts and Guardian bells were also for sale, stamped with the slogan “I Ride 4 PCH.” I Ride 4 PCH is a campaign to recognize everyday riders from across the Valley who ride to raise funds for the kiddos at Phoenix Children’s.
The sound of motorcycle engines revving caused a number of excited patients to gather at their hospital windows. Unable to leave their rooms, they waved to more than 800 riders, who then waved back in return. After the ride, McKnight, who has participated in this ride all four years, said, “There’s nothing like it. This is truly an experience for those riders and patients alike. Looking up in the windows and seeing the kids faces, this is why we ride.”
A dozen patient ambassadors were on hand to greet everyone, passing their cards out and sharing their story. Patients like Brendan — who at 3 months old, was admitted to Phoenix Children’s in full congestive heart failure — also attended. After undergoing several surgeries and eventually a heart transplant, Brendan — who is nearly 7 years old — faces ongoing treatment and medical challenges, but always keeps a positive attitude and looks forward to this event every year!
Isaiah, 17, who is also a patient ambassador and sits on Phoenix Children’s Hospital patient advisory board, has been a regular on this ride. Reflecting on the event, Isaiah wrote, “I love seeing all the bikers come in and ride for all of us at PCH. Most know my name now. I had so many favorite parts. Performing my song “Oxygen to Fly” at the hospital was very meaningful to me. Making friends with bikers and getting on stage at WestWorld along with my friend Brendan to see everyone cheer was exciting!”
Isaiah’s mother, Tarah, noted, “Isaiah came out of the womb fighting. Born two months early and without a jaw, he had no open breathing passages and was deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes. Doctors weren’t sure he would survive. He did, and he’s been a fighter ever since. Although he can’t speak, today he has a voice, with Trap House performing a rap Isaiah wrote himself.”
Earlier in the week, Arizona Bike Week headliner Alice Cooper stopped by the hospital to visit patients in the Happiest place in the Hospital, The Child Life Zone, where he performed his classic “Schools Out” with local band Vintage Wednesday:
Arizona Bike Week Organizer Lisa Cyr said, “The ongoing partnership that Arizona Bike Week has with Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the highlights of our event each year. We are honored for the opportunity to lend support to this amazing organization that touches so many lives. Not only the lives of the thousands of children that are treated at the hospital but also the families and loved ones they assist through tremendous challenges.”
Thank you to our partners who continue to generously donate their time and services: Alice Cooper, Arcadia Tavern, Arizona Bike Week Charities, Arizona Bike Week, Chompie’s, The Gatekeepers, Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, The Henry, Magical Marketing, Walmart and U-Haul.
Whether you are on two feet or on two wheels we hope to see you at another great biker event: The 6th Annual Bob’s Biker Blast on Saturday, November 4, a “self-guided” ride from Phoenix Children’s Hospital to Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, where 3 Doors Down will be performing.