WBT AM/FM’s Keith’s Ride 13

October 10, 2015

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Earlier this year in Charlotte hundreds of motorcycle riders and Charlotteans came together for News Talk 1110 WBT-AM/99.3 FM’s Keith’s Ride .

But Keith’s Ride isn’t just a motorcycle ride. WBT AM/FM Host Keith Larson started the annual police-escorted charity motorcycle ride to raise money and help a few local kids who were battling cancer.

Over the years “the ride” has helped dozens of Charlotte-area children who were fighting for their lives and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This year Keith’s Ride celebrated lucky No. 13 on the last Saturday in April, and rode for seven amazing kids, more than ever before.

There’s 6-year-old Harley Tucker fighting a rare rhabdomyosarcoma; 10-year-old Bryanna Medlin, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphona last year; and Timothy “The Tin Man,” who was born with chromosome disorder, a missing artery, and cleft palate and who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Demetrius Samuel is 15 and has spent his past two birthdays undergoing cancer treatments, while little Ava Reece is battling leukemia.

Betheny Childers has intractable epilepsy and has been in the hospital for months on end. Then there’s Kevin Bean, a 5-year-old who just three weeks before the ride was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

As their stories went out over the air, donations began pouring in, from riders and nonriders alike, more than WBT AM/FM had ever seen before, and it was needed. For the closer the weekend came, the more it seemed that the ride would be a washout. The forecast called for a 100% chance of rain, and the temperature only in the 60s—not good riding weather.

When the day of the ride came, the WBT AM/FM Promotions Team was ready for anything Mother Nature was going to throw at them because it had already been decided: No matter what, we ride for the kids.

WBT AM/FM Afternoon Host John Hancock broadcast a live show that morning from the starting point, along with local TV anchor Molly Grantham. They encouraged people to fight the weather and join us, to remember why we ride.  And they did.

More than 120 riders and passengers braved the weather to join WBT AM/FM that morning.

After sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast from sponsor Hardees in their rain gear, they rode for a hundred miles to historic Gold Hill, NC, and on their way back to the WBT studios for the after-party, the rain stopped.

As they arrived, local bluegrass favorites The Flowers Family Band greeted them with music, along with more than 50 WBT AM/FM listeners and Greater Media Charlotte staff members.

Under gray skies everyone enjoyed the live music, lunch from sponsor Cantina 1511, and a beautiful yet hazy view of the Charlotte skyline.

Afterward, Keith Larson commented, “Worst weather ever. Best ride ever. Most kids helped ever. And that’s what being WBT is all about.”

Add to that, the most money raised ever, over the $25,000 mark!