About 150 cyclists took part in the second annual Ride for Missing Children. The event raises funds to support prevention education programs and to remember missing children. And as our Brad Vivacqua tells us, it makes a positive impact on children of all ages.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's the second year in a row Karen Kissock of Liverpool took part in the Syracuse Ride for Missing Children.
"I teach middle school kids, and I love them and I want them to be safe and I also had a student who was harmed by an online predator several years ago," said Karen Kissock, of Liverpool.
Karen is one of about 150 riders who pedaled just under 100 miles Friday, all in an effort to support prevention education programs. Participants helped raise more than $50,000 this year.
"That money stays right here in Central New York. It stays entirely local and it enables us to provide our abduction prevention programs, sexual exploitation prevention programs in schools and community groups throughout the area," said Edward Suk, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
As riders headed along the course, they'd have to dodge a few raindrops on the way. But some staunch supporters kept them going.
The ride route includes stopping or going by nine schools in both Onondaga and Oswego counties, including at Dillon Middle School in Phoenix, sending a positive message to students.
"You pull in to schools on the bicycles and you feel like rock stars. I never cease to get goose bumps every time I go through and I've gone through several of these rides now," said Miles Ross, of Mexico.
"The kids’ energy is unbelievable, it helps you, especially when you're halfway through, and it’s been a really long day and you just want to be done but you know those kids are waiting for you and they are so excited that you are on your way," said Kissock.
And so as efforts like Karen's continue to keep kids safe, it's an effort worthwhile, making the world a better place.