(NEWS10) – Dozens of bike riders took to the roads of the Capital Region to raise awareness and money for missing people and their families. It is the 9th annual ride for missing children.
“My mom has been missing for 14 years, that’s a really long time, so it’s good to know that people still care and know, because a lot of people forget,” Katie Herron said.
Herron, now 18 years old, was just four when her mother, Audrey May Herron vanished.
On Friday morning, she along with other families of missing children, siblings, and parents thanked the riders at an opening ceremony on the campus of SUNY Albany.
It’s the last place 19-year-old Suzanne Lyall was seen before she vanished in 1998.
“It’s a very emotional day, it’s a powerful day,” Birchwood Elementary School Teacher Lisa Luyckx said.
From 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., 50 riders pedal 100-miles across the Capital Region.
Along the route, they visited four local schools to spread the message of child safety.
“The students often ask if we’ve found any missing children along the way, so there are misconceptions and we can clear those up,” Luyckx said.
Luyckx is riding for the cause. Her son’s friend, Craig Frear went missing 12 years ago.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Craig’s mom and what she goes through every day,” Luyckx said.
While Forts Ferry teacher Mr. David Floid doesn’t have a personal connection, he says working with kids every day he sees the need for more awareness.
“Each rider tries to raise at least $300 and I went to the school and went to the kids and said if you could bring us some quarters that’d be great and they raised over $300 to support the cause so it’s all on them they did a great job,” Floid said.
The ride typically raises about $20,000 each year.
That money goes towards nationwide poster distribution.
One mother shared the story of how her son’s safe return was a direct result of those posters.
“If people just take a second to look at picture because you could be somebody’s hero. The person who recognized my son is my hero. On every anniversary of his recovery we call her and thank her,” Abby Potash said.