“When Olivia was born she spent the first few months of her life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at the children’s hospital," said Olivia's mother Sharon McGowan who will be releasing 10 doves at the beginning of a motorcycle ride at the Moose Lodge Saturday. “She would have been ten years old this year.”
Olivia was diagnosed with FRYNS syndrome, which most babies succumb to at birth or shortly after. Olivia lived for 8 years and during that time brought laughter and smile to everyone around her, said Sharon.
Throughout that time, there were frequent visits to the Children's Hospital which have brought about Olivia's Ride that is entering its second year with the proceeds benefitting the hospital.
“That’s where their life begins. Some of them don’t end up leaving because they don’t make it," said Sharon of the NICU.“This money can give them the money to buy things that they may need."
Last year 104 motorcycles participated in and more than 200 people attended the event that begins with registration at 9 a.m., kickstands up at 11 a.m. and everyone back for 12:15 or 12:30 p.m. You don't need two wheels to participate in the event, with a cookout and raffle of a number of items (including sky diving, airplane lessons and a 51 inch TV) to follow the riders' return.
“We have gotten amazing support this year," said Sharon. "You name it. We have gotten it ... the businesses have been unbelievable in making this happen.”
Tickets for the raffle will start to be drawn at 2:30 p.m., she said.