UTICA, NY – Six months from now, close to 500 bike riders will set off on the 23rd annual Ride for Missing and Exploited Children.
On Monday, the first ride meeting of the year took place at MVCC’s Schafer Theater.
New riders, old riders, sponsors and volunteers, all gathered to find out what lies ahead for this year’s ride.
Last year’s ride raised a record $456,664.07 for the Mohawk Valley office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
That money will be used primarily for the distribution of posters of missing children.
Jim Simpson, Director of Ride Day Operations, says portions of the money raised will also be used to educate the general public on ways to keep children safe.
“We’ve done a lot of education in the schools. We provide programs to the community free of charge, and the awareness of missing children, the awareness of child safety, we keep beating that drum. It’s something that cannot be overemphasized.”
Since its inception, the Ride for Missing and Exploited Children has helped raise money for the distribution of over 11 million posters of missing children.
Of the over 11.5 thousand children that have gone missing, close to 8 thousand have been recovered thanks to the ride.