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Ride for the Kids raises funds for UI Children’s Hospital

December 19, 2013

Ride for the Kids, an all-day motorcycle ride event in Dubuque, Iowa, has contributed more than $129,000 to the University of Iowa Foundation to benefit UI Children’s Hospital.

Ride for the Kids was launched in 2009 by the families of Sarah Reiss of Dubuque, Iowa, and Matthew Wessels, of Zwingle, Iowa. Sarah was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma – a cancerous brain tumor—in May of 2008. She died in September 2010 at the age of 22. Matthew is four and was born with a heart defect for which he has already had three open-heart surgeries.

After the first event in 2009, organizers established the Ride for the Kids Fund through the University of Iowa Foundation, and since its inception, Ride for the Kids has raised $419,600 to support pediatric brain tumor research and pediatric cardiology research in the Department of Pediatrics at UI Children’s Hospital.

Mark Reiss, event organizer and father of Sarah Reiss, says he hopes event proceeds will make a difference at UI Children’s Hospital.

“After experiencing firsthand the outstanding knowledge, care, and compassion from everyone at UI Children’s Hospital, we knew we wanted to find a way to give back and help fund these research programs,” said Reiss. “We don’t want other families to have to go through what we are. It’s personal. We need cures.”

The UI Foundation’s mission is to advance the University of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa.