The last words on 2010
Be sure to check out the final Riders Road from Mike Langford. Thanks for adding this new feature this year – everyone loved it! Also, new photos are loaded from Friday night.
Scott’s last blog..
Today will be a week since we have gotten home. I still don’t think I have come down from the high that I got from the ride. To be able to do something that you love and also to be able to help make a difference in someone’s life all at the same time, it does not get much better then that. I often think back on how much different my life would have been if it was not for Jim and Country’s. Sure, I got the wanting to help people genes from my Dad and Mom and they nurtured that through my young life, but Country’s is what has enable me to be able to do all the things that I have had the privilege to do. Jim is the one who set the standards of giving back to the community and taking care of the people who have taken care of us all these years. It is also all the great employees that give of their time and hard work that enable us to try and give back as much as we receive. Without them, there would never have been a Miracle Ride. From the start, I don’t think anyone had any idea that the ride would go in the direction that it has. I guess that just goes to show that it’s best to follow your heart and not the GPS.
Everyone knows I’m always lost with that electronic thing! The ride also has taken more then just my heart to become what it has become. It is only successful because of all of the people that do the real work and give of their heart and soul to make this work. If it was not for all of the girls at Columbus Regional Foundation that keep me straight and most of all don’t let me get too crazy with my ideas, the ride would never had any kind of success. I would just have been some guy out there on a bike without a cause. I can never express how much love I have for all of you for giving me this opportunity to try to make a difference in someone’s life. I also need to thank all of our media partners, without you it would just be me and the girls talking about the ride. WTVM and PMB Broadcasting stations and The Ledger and anyone else who helped cover the ride – you are the ones who brought it to life for the thousands of people around the country and right here in Columbus. Without the help from you, we would not have been able to make that one difference in someone’s life. How do I say thanks to all the people of this community who supported me and the ride? Without your thoughts, prayers, and donations we would never have been able to do the things we set out to do for CMN. The next time you see a group of kids playing in the park or at a little league game know in your heart that one of those kids is here today because you took the time to wish us well and gave of your heart to make a difference in one life. Now for the Miracle Riders, these guys should have their head examined to want to jump on your bike and travel with me on a 21 day adventure and my ten year old GPS leading the way. Something has got to be wrong with them. Now that said, I would not trade the ten thousand mile trip with you guys for all the tea in China. Ok, maybe I would have to have given it a second thought for a big glass of Country’s sweet tea in the middle of the sand storm. We started off just as acquaintances but will become life long friends. Together I know we have made a difference in someone’s life, most of all mine. I have no idea where my life journey will take me next or if it can even compare to what I have already been lucky enough to do, but like my GPS we may be old and we may get confused but I’m always ready for life’s ride.
With each beat of my heart…
From Ralph Kingrey…
We are back at home now, and I think I could be called rested. Didn’t do anything for three days , but In reply to your request for our final comments, I would like to offer the following:
It will take awhile to get accustomed to home so actually very little sleep last night. Will probably start catching up tonight, but I had to tell you, that crowd last night was unbelievable, but as good as it was, it was pale in comparison to the show that the police officers from Harris county and Columbus put on getting us here. I have never witnessed such a professional display of use of cars, bikes and lights. You would have to had a seat where I was sitting to totally appreciate what they did. I enjoyed that as much as any part of the trip and my hat does off to Sheriff Jolley and Tim Wynn’s crew. They ROCK!
Every once in a while, sometimes with you actually knowing it, you are afforded the opportunity to do something that really matters and will have a positive effect on other people. I for one am very guilty of letting opportunities of this kind slip away because I am usually only concerned with my own every day life with little or no regard for others, and I am ashamed to say it, I usually have the opinion that nobody else really cares for anyone else other than themselves. Well, I have seen the light. There are other people that care for someone other than themselves and I have been given the opportunity to witness it for myself first hand and I can thank this trip for the awakening that I have experienced the past three weeks.
There are still some very thoughtful friendly, generous people out in the world, and when given the chance they can prove that to you. I have just had the opportunity ,and actually used the opportunity to see first hand that if you have a good cause, and what better cause then our children or grandchildren, then people throughout this country will open up their hearts and pocketbooks for this cause. This experience has forced me to realize that there is still good in this country.
I made the trip, and as with most bike trips, I had a great time doing something that I really enjoy doing, but this trip afforded me something that I have never experienced before .PRIDE. I know that the effort put forth by myself and the other ten men that accompanied me will make a difference in other lives and I am extremely proud of what our small group has accomplished by raising $90,000. This money will be used to change someone’s life or help to save one that would not have been saved otherwise. I couldn’t be prouder.
I would like to thank the Columbus Regional Hospital staff, Scott Ressmeyer, the Miracle Riders, all of the support group that planned this trip and kept us afloat, the people of Columbus that added their tremendous support, and my wife and family for the opportunity that I have just been given. I feel blessed and I hope that I can play my blessing forward in the future.
I will never forget this, Ralph Kingrey
From Tim Wynn…
One last ride to the house. The ride from Charlotte, NC was a great ride. I had a couple of my buddies pick us up in Athens, Georgia and escorted us through town. (Special Thanks to Sgt. Von Anderson and Cpl. Greg Slaney from the Athens-Clarke Co. PD Motorcycle Squad) The ride from Athens to Macon was probably the longest part of the ride. Finally, we arrived in Macon where all of the wives were waiting for us, as well as 50 to 100 friends. It was good to be home. The Harris Co. S.O. provided an escort from Macon to Columbus. (Great job, Guys!) The Columbus P.D. Motorcycle Squad picked us up at the Talbot-Muscogee Co. line and both agencies escorted us to the Infantry Museum. The reception at the Infantry Museum was overwhelming. The trip from the Infantry Museum to Broadway, the crowd, the reception, were unbelievable. This community is second to none. Thanks Columbus! The 10 men that I had the privilege to ride with on this trip are 10 of the finest men I have ever been associated with. I want to thank each one for the time that they allowed me to spend with them. The memories of this trip will last a lifetime. The CMN staff, you ladies are the best. In closing, I would like to thank the Chief of Police Ricky Boren, the Assistant Chief of Police Charles Rowe, The Patrol Major Julius Graham, and Lieutenant Mark Starling and all of the men and woman (Roz) from the CPD Motorcycle Squad. Thanks to all of my friends and family who donated to the CMN ride. A special thanks to my campaign manager Betty Bowen and her assistant Bo Bowen. Thanks to my mom Joan Wynn and most of all thank you to my beautiful wife, Joanie – you are the best. See Ya.
P.S. To my roommate Brice, I miss you man!!!
From Larry Suits…
I would like to thank Scott for inviting me to go with him on what will be one of the best journeys of my life. Not only being to able to contribute to a wonderful cause, but making great new friends and seeing this awsome country of ours. Our reception coming back home can’t be put into words. I felt like a rock star with the little girls asking me to sign the back of their shirts! It was a great ride and it is good to be home.
From Mark Alexander…
What a ride! 48 states in 21 days and I must confess it flew by (my wife said the same thing…hmmm). I would do it again, especially knowing the great cause this ride supports. I will cherish forever the great friendships made during this trip. I left Columbus with 10 other guys (many I hardly knew) and came home with great friends with huge hearts. Thanks to everyone who supported this ride and who showed up to welcome us home. I was amazed with the huge turnout. It’s great to be back home. I hope with every year this ride will continue to raise more awareness and much needed funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. Lets make next year’s ride bigger and better!
From Ronnie Wilson…
Well where do I start, I guess Thank You would be a good place.
Thank You to Scott Ressmeyer for inviting a complete stranger to go on this amazing journey. For those of you who know Scott know what kind of man he is, for those of you who do not, get to know him because he is one of the most caring and giving person you will ever meet in your life and by me meeting him and going on this ride it has changed my life forever.
Thank You to Mark, Mike H., Mike J., Mike L., James, Brice, Tim, Larry, and Ralph for making a difference to the children of our area and making this the single greatest experience of my life. We started out as strangers and I am now proud to call ALL of you my friends. Through out this trip we joked and cut up a lot and had a really good time but you guys never lost focus of our goal to raise money and awareness for CMN.
Thank You to everyone at CMN y’all did all the work while we were gone. All we did was ride motorcycles. Your commitment and dedication to the sick and injured children of our area is amazing.
Thank You to the people of Columbus and anyone who followed us you guys are awesome. You guys followed us every day, left comments, stayed up late to catch the news, and showed up for our welcome home celebration, which was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen in my life.
Thank You to our escorts (no not that kind) I’m talking about the men and women of the various law enforcement agencies around the country who helped us on our journey. Buffalo, NY… Athens, GA… Harris Co., GA and last and certainly not least Columbus, GA….. WOW talk about feeling important, when you get an escort through town with these guys you feel like you are somebody.
Thank You to my friends (even those who didn’t think i would make it) and family who supported me on this journey I love you ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!
From Mike Hamby…
I hope everyone got a good nights sleep, I know I did. Like a baby in my own bed.
Words cannot adequately express the experience I have had with my fellow “Miracle Riders”over these last three weeks. It was a great, awesome, eye opening, faith building, see the country from a unique prospective, motorcycle ride. And with men such as these, was, well, just the icing on the cake! I love you guys, each and every one of you, with the Love of Christ. And Scott you are Awesome dude!!
And Jennifer and Karen, you guys are great. You know how to roll out the Red Carpet. The homecoming blew me away Thank You!
Carrie, I just met you for the first time last night, but if I ever do this again, and I will, I want you to make the arrangements, and accommodations you did a “bang up” job. Thank You.
And lastly, to all the wonderful people in Columbus and across this great nation, who gave. You are the “Superstars”. At this time with the economy and all, you gave from your heart,and that is why I am in for 2011, oh, and to get another patch.
I signed on for this ride for two reasons. One, I Love Kids. God has blessed me with four healthy kids and three healthy Grandchildren. So I have to “give back” and “Pay it forward”. And second I love a challenge. And that about sums it up.
Now, I want to expand on something I mentioned a couple of days ago, at least I think it was a couple of days ago, it could have been last week. We rode right at 10,000 miles across the United States of America. Did you notice the word United. I hope so, because it means something. We crossed 48 State lines and spoke to countless people from all over. Not once was there a language barrier, we couldn’t get sweet tea at times, or grits. But never could we not understand each other. And our money, did you know it was good everywhere we went. We never had to worry about exchange rates or if we had enough to cover our expenditures in a particular city or place. Do you guys know how rare that is in the world.
Our Country is not a bunch of States and the federal government. Its you, the people that make up this Great Nation. Your continuous, and overflowing generosity is what makes this unique experiment among world governments the place that it is,”A Shining City on a Hill”, called America.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention, as the story goes, a woman asked Mr Franklin, What kind of government have you given us sir. And Benjamin Franklin replied. “We have given you a Representative Republic, if you can keep it”.
To me those are the most important words spoken in the history of forming this great Nation of ours. Even more so today.
What does this have to do with fund raising? Everything.
You see as the Federal Government gains power, you loose power. Even to the point of deciding what to do with your money. Its true, look at China. They are forming an amazing blend of Communism and Capitalism. But at what cost? You may own a business, but it reports to the State. It has been said, how can the USA compete with a country with 800 million slaves! Don’t let it happen here. Keep being Americans, keep giving all you can, and VOTE!
See you all next year.