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Ride for Missing Children route may have to be altered due to the weather

By GARY LIBERATORE

(WKTV) - Retired New York State Police Trooper Jim Simpson has been an integral part of the Ride for Missing Children ever since it began 18 years ago.
 
He was involved in the investigation into Sara Ann Wood's disappearance in 1993, which led to Sara's Ride, which ultimately was renamed the Ride for Missing Children.
 
Simpson says people around our area may not realize the scope of this ride nationally because we are so close to it, "It's the biggest single fundraiser for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the country.  Last year we raised over $400,000 for posters for missing children and for education safety."
 
Simpson says this is why the threat of heavy rains for Friday is such a huge concern.  He adds it's not only because of the money raised, but because of the message of the ride to the students that are greeted by the riders at their schools along the route, "We don't have the luxury of a rain date.  I wish we did but we don't because school schedules are really tight this time of year and they've all allocated time for this, and we have family members of missing children flying in and driving in from all over the country."
 
He adds this year's looming weather is like none before, "This is the 18th year and we haven't had a weather issue like the one that's approaching us now in the history of this event.  We're going to have to make some decisions because the impact of the event is us, and the school children, and if it's a pouring rain, they're not going to come out their school."
 
Simpson says after talking with meteorologists from News Channel 2, he is happy to hear that most heavy rains won't come until Friday afternoon, and that means getting in as many schools visits as possible, if not all of them that are scheduled.  He does say that once those heavy rains do come, he mostly likely will change the ride course and have the riders make a b-line for the  finish line at the New Hartford Recreation Center.
 

The Ride for Missing Children kicks off at 7:00 a.m. with an emotional ceremony at Troop D Headquarters and then the riders take off at exactly 7:50 a.m.. 

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