"I wanted to come out and show my support and be a part of this amazing day, seeing all these riders come together and for a cause to keep our children safer," said Barbara Sullivan.
Barbara Sullivan's son, Brian, went missing in July of 2007. She's one of the hundreds who are a part of the 13th Annual Ride for Missing Children. 355 bike riders pedaling 100-miles all in one day.
The ceremony kicked off Friday morning at the Total Sports Experience in Gates.
"It's amazing. It's one of my favorite days of the year just because I know what we are doing and I know it's important and I have a niece and nephew . I feel like I'm riding for them because they are safe and I want them to stay safe," said rider Michael Russell.
The fundraiser supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center's mission is to find missing children and offer free education programs in schools.
"Our goal is to raise about $150,000. People are excited about this ride because they know it's a great day of awareness," said Pam Weaver, Director of Community Education.
During the ride, cyclists stop at area schools to spread awareness about keeping children safe. Friday's first stop...St. Lawrence Elementary School.
"I think it's seeing those kids and their innocence and how excited they are that really spurs them on no matter how tired they are to keep pedaling those 100 miles," said Weaver.
"The energy from the children, seeing their faces, just reminds me that we are fortunate to have children that are safe everyday," said Russell.
"Everyday is hope. We just go on and try to do what we can and be here for all these wonderful people that take their time out and for a wonderful cause," said Sullivan.
All the money raised stays local. Riders will return to Totals Sports Experience Friday evening.
The community is encouraged to text "safekids ny" to 20222 to donate $10 to NCMEC/NY in support of the riders.
No injuries were life threatening.
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