This upcoming week, a group of volunteer bicyclists from across New York will set off on a 350-mile, cross-state journey to raise awareness and support for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and National Missing Children’s Day, on May 25. The four-day ride will also serve as a pre-event to NCMEC’s “Miles for Hope,” a monthlong awareness and fundraising mission to benefit NCMEC taking place later this fall.
The cross-state ride will begin in Buffalo on Sunday, May 23, and conclude in Albany Wednesday, May 26. As they travel, the riders will be making tribute stops along the way – honoring missing children, their families and first responders who work closely with NCMEC.
Tributes are planned at the following locations. Times are subject to road and weather conditions.
•May 23 at noon, Evangel Assembly of God (Williamsville) – Riders will be kicking off the cross-state ride event.
•May 23 at 4:30 p.m. – Davis Park in Chili (Rochester) – To honor Brittanee Drexel, a Chili teen who went missing in 2009. Ed Suk, executive director of NCMEC-NY; Chad Drexel, Brittanee’s father; and dignitaries will speak at the memorial.
•May 25 at 9 a.m. – National Missing Children’s Day, Onondaga Lake Park (Syracuse). The “Chain of Awareness” (featuring over 250 missing posters) will be on display, honoring all children currently missing in New York.
•May 25 at 3:30 p.m. – Tribute to Sara Anne Wood (Sauquoit). Sara was abducted in 1993 while riding her bicycle. The Ride for Missing Children began as a result.
•May 26 at 4:30 p.m. – Missing Person’s Memorial (Albany). Riders and families will gather to close the cross-state ride.
Registration is currently open for “Miles for Hope,” which will take place Sept. 1-30. Last year, over 1,400 people from 48 states participated in the event. The open format allows people to participate in their own way – whether they choose to bike, run, walk or swim, anyone can join in and make a difference in the fight to keep children safer from abduction, abuse and exploitation. To register, visit www.missingkids.org/milesforhope.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Since 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has served as the leading private, nonprofit organization helping to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization. NCMEC has circulated billions of photos of missing children, assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 348,000 missing children, and facilitated training for more than 379,000 law enforcement, criminal/juvenile justice and health care professionals. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline, a mechanism for reporting suspected child sexual exploitation, which has received more than 86 million reports since it was created in 1998. To learn more about NCMEC, visit missingkids.org.