September 13, 2019 by Clint Eiland at https://www.wbbjtv.com
DYERSBURG, Tenn. — More than 200 motorcycles, nearly $1 million and 450 miles.
Those are just some of the numbers involved in St. Jude Rides.
“Almost 400 people total, and to see it all come together, and to be here in Dyersburg, it is just overwhelmingly emotional,” Jill Libert, development specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said.
“One of the most well organized events that I’ve ever been a part of,” Stann Wiebler, marketing manager at Walter Brothers Harley Davidson, said. “They do so much planning. The police do a phenomenal job of getting us here safely.”
The trip started Thursday in Peoria, Illinois, where riders began a six-hour drive to Dyersburg. The motorcade arrived in Memphis on Friday, where they delivered a check worth around $1 million to St. Jude.
Wiebler’s father helped start the event 13 years ago, and Stann has done it the last six years. He says this event is one of his favorites.
“It’s a huge event in our family. It’s part of our business anymore. No decision goes in to our business these days without thinking about St. Jude and how it would affect it,” Wiebler said.
“It’s a very passionate group. They fund raise all year long with asking family and friends. They really are outstanding and selfless,” Libert said.
Each rider raised at least $1,000, with one couple even raising $40,000.
“Kids are precious. Thank you to all the people who are here to do this,” Kevin and Debbie Onnela said.
As they rode into the hospital parking lot, the patients and employees were there to welcome them.
“Patients, doctors, they all come out into the streets, and they have signs and balloons, screaming and yelling, a lot of tears flowing on these big, bad motorcyclists as they’re coming in seeing the kids,” Wiebler said.
“They do a lot for the kids. And I’m pretty impressed about that. They do a lot,” rider Brian Bruen said.
Organizers with the group say they raise more money each year.