Cyclists sought for upcoming benefit bike ride
A non-profit organization based out of Naples is holding its annual Benefit Bike Ride, which will honor PFC Corey Kent as the “heart” of this year’s event on March 19.
Diana Dozier-Ayres, co-founder of Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion said this is the third year they will hold the bike ride, which has been extremely successful in years past. Last year’s ride raised $20,000 that went towards purchasing limbs for a 7-year-old boy who lost both of his arms when he was 8 months old.
The organization chose Kent, who lost both legs in Afghanistan as well as part of one hand, to be the main beneficiary of the bike ride this year because they wanted to raise awareness of how many soldiers are coming back from war with amputations. Dozier-Ayres said more than 35 percent of the injured soldiers returning are amputees, which is the highest rate since the Civil War.
She explained that two weeks after they found out about Kent’s situation they heard from a gentleman who knew his dad and decided to make him the “heart” of the ride after meeting with his parents, Tiffany and Dan.
“We want to give them a cash infusion,” Dozier-Ayres said. “The bigger the ride the more we can give them.”
The ride, which will be held at North Collier Regional Park, will kick off at 6:30 a.m. with registration and a power breakfast. The event will include a 62-mile ride, 42-mile ride, 28-mile ride, 10-mile ride and a 2-mile family fun ride.
Dozier-Ayres said it will be a pretty well rounded ride where people can go at their own pace.
“We are expecting around 400 riders this year,” she said.
Registration is $35 per rider and free for those who are 11 years old and younger. Tickets are $10 per non-riders and guests and free for children 10 years old and younger.
A huge lunch buffet will be served during the event through donations from eight or nine restaurants. A hotel and silent auction, along with a Trek bicycle auction, will be held during the event as well. A clown and face painting will be available for the children during throughout the day.
As of last week, Kent was moved into a rehab facility and is said to be doing really well.
“As well as Corey is doing, he (Dan) is still anticipating for him to be there another nine months,” Dozier-Ayres said.
Since the VA will provide state-of-the-art limbs for Kent, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion will provide a caretaker donation to help the family financially.
“They are completely financially strapped,” she said.
The money raised through the bike ride will go towards such things as setting up a college fund, so Kent can further his education, along with making sure his house is completely accessible for him once he comes home.
“There are a lot of area’s that we will be helping them,” Dozier-Ayres said.
Bob, Diana’s husband, was seriously injured in a car accident many years ago after he pulled his car onto the shoulder of the road to change his left tire that was flat. While changing his tire he was hit by a speeding car that threw him more than 100 feet from the scene. Dozier-Ayres said he was in the hospital for more than a year and after 30 surgeries they determined that his leg could not be saved.
Bob battled with a drug and alcohol addiction for many years and became really sick five years ago, which put him into a coma.
“He came out of the coma a totally different person,” Dozier-Ayres said. “He opened his eyes and told me ‘I know why I survived the accident now…I know what I am supposed to do.'”
Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion began after he came out of the coma and became sober.
“He is my miracle,” Diana said. “My absolute hero.”
For more information visit www.miraclelimbs.org or call (239) 591-8393.