Tattoos Commemorate 20 Years Of The Ride For Missing Children
Dick Jordan has been called ‘The Grandfather’ of The Ride for Missing Children. But, this grandfather is most likely in better shape, more determined and has more ‘tats’ that yours. Way more tats. He is a living timeline of the fundraising and awareness efforts to find abducted and missing children. And, he’s still riding to continue the awareness.
The biggest fundraiser for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children happens each year in and around Utica, New York.
‘The Ride’, short for The Ride for Missing and Exploited Children, is a near 100-mile bicycle trek woven around numerous visits at central New York schools that delivers safety education to thousands of young children. The Mohawk Valley chapter’s journey began in May 1995 in memory of Sara Anne Wood, who was abducted and murdered near her home in Litchfield when she was just 12-years old. The first stop Riders make each year is in the Sauquoit Valley Central School District, where Sara was enrolled.
Participation for Riders is capped at 500 each year. There is a lengthy waiting list for anyone wants to become a Rider, a list much longer than the number who made peddled the first Ride two decades ago – which spanned beyond central New York and was much more than 100-miles.
Dick Jordan, nicknamed ‘The Grandfather of The Ride’, was one of seven people who biked more than 500 miles from Utica to Washington, D.C. in 1995 to raise awareness of the plight of missing children.
Now, in his 70’s, Jordan has become a living mural of The Ride’s history, which includes a soon to be third trek to the Capitol along with his participation in a new tradition, a Ride for Missing Children in Flower Mound, Texas.
This year’s Ride for Missing Children is Friday, May 15, 2015. The following day some 50 Riders will also bike to the nation’s capital to continue to spread awareness and raise money to help bring missing children home.