It was 30 years ago that 12-year-old Sara Anne Wood was abducted and murdered while riding her bike near her home in the Herkimer County town of Litchfield. Since then the Central New York community has been an avid supporter of the mission to bring home missing and exploited children.

"The Ride"

One way in which residents in our region come together each year for this cause is by hopping on their road bikes and making the long trip in the Ride for Missing Children. This year the ride is taking place on Friday, June 7th, 2024 and registration is currently open. Individuals riding bicycles for this particular cause dates back to 1995 when seven men started a journey from Utica, NY to our nation's Capitol on May 25th. That was the first ever National Missing Children's Day. In Sara Anne Wood's memory, the shorter ride which has come to be known as "The Ride for Missing Children" was born and it is still running 29 years later.

The Route

This years ride will begin at 7:50 a.m. at Sauquoit Valley Middle School and will go for 83 challenging miles, stopping at various schools for riders to meet with children along the way. All the while, participants will spread the message and awareness of those still missing, those we've brought home and how to prevent others from suffering a similar fate. Eventually the ride will end at the New Hartford Rec Center at around 5:22 p.m. the same day.

Andrew Derminio
Andrew Derminio

The Experience

Of course it is easiest to participate if you have some experience using a road cycle, but new participants and riders are always encouraged. The ride is a great experience and it is a physically and emotionally challenging day, but it is fulfilling. Nothing you will endure during the 83 mile journey can compare to the pain of a parent or family member who has lost a child. By participating you won't regret.

The Purpose

The purpose of this ride is one part awareness and one part fund-raising. Each ride agrees to raise a minimum of $300, but is encouraged to raise all that you can. The money goes to print posters of missing and exploited children and to help The Ride organization and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children continue to educate students and families on ways to avoid becoming a victim to an evil doer.

To register for this incredible event, a staple in the Central New York community, all you have to do is register on the website It is the experience of a lifetime and one you will never forget. Registration is open now!

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