It’s the 19th annual Ride for Missing Children Friday. Where hundreds of cyclist travel a 100-mile journey around Monroe County, raising awareness about exploited and missing kids.
They were out riding two by two with snapshots of missing children on their backs.
Dave Abercrombie is a 15-year veteran, and he’s one of the riders. He says hearing the survival stories before the ride is what pushes him to participate every year.
“Once you hear that, you can’t help but to raise funds and raise awareness for the missing and exploited children,” said Abercrombie.
According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there’s a considerable number of children that go missing in New York state every year.
“Two-hundred kids every day that we know are missing and that we are actively searching for across New York state. We got about 19,000 kids that go missing annually in New York State,” said Ed Suk, Executive Director for NCMEC’s New York branch. “Which is a huge number, and thankfully we have a recovery rate that is shy of 98 percent. If we’re involved, there’s a perfect chance we’re going to find that child and bring them home.”
The riders visited various participating schools where they were interacting with students, giving him high fives and handing out wristbands. The children also held posters of encouragement. They spoke to them about the dangers of the internet, abduction, and stranger dangers.
The ride’s purpose is to raise that kind of awareness and raise money, which will stay locally to fund prevention efforts.
“Training we do for teachers and educational programs we do for parents, how to keep your kids safer. Talking points, conversation starters, lesson plans, in school classrooms all free of charge all because the ride for missing children,” said Suk.
Organizers say they’ll continue to search for the missing no matter how long it takes.
Information on future rides: https://www.therideformissingchildren.com/