Bay Area Bikers raised more than $15,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the Second Annual Broc Glover Breathe Easy Ride Bay Area (BERBA) event in San Jose on September 12. Nearly 50 riders rode in support of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF), including 1982 World MotoCross Champion Brad Lackey and 2007 Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp.
“This event was a huge success! We not only raised over $15,000 for cystic fibrosis research, but we also raised awareness about cystic fibrosis,” Sue Emmert, Special Events Manager for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation -South Bay Branch, said.
San Jose resident Brett Barker was diagnosed with CF when he was 9 months old. He spent eight months organizing the event along with his girlfriend, Amber Van Der Veen. Emmert said that Barker, “along with his committee, did an awesome job in putting this event together.” Barker said that it feels really good to head up an event for CF that raised $15,000. He added that he is already thinking about next year’s event and hopes to raise at least $25,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2011.
Even young children attending the event were inspired to donate money. Barker said one small child came up to him and said he wanted to do something to help and gave him two quarters. Barker said he was touched by the child’s actions because it was just a sample of “what a really great heart all the participants at the event had.” Emmert said that donations for the event continue to arrive daily at the CF Foundation South Bay office.
Prior to the ride, many participants spent time checking out each other’s motorcycles, mingling and browsing and bidding on the more than $11,000 in silent auction and raffle prizes that were donated to the event. BJ’s restaurant in San Jose donated lunch for the riders, and CCOC Video Production Instructor Jeff Schmidt served as the disc jockey.
Participants were required to pre-register, paying a $25 registration fee that went toward the fundraising level that each rider set for themselves to raise. Participants received goody bags at certain fundraising levels, with three riders collecting more than $1,000 in donations. Riders rode in small groups, based on their speed comfort level, on a 40-mile, 1½-hour course that took them through San Jose, Saratoga and Los Gatos before returning back to the Central County Occupational Center (CCOC) in San Jose, which hosted the event.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects more than 30,000 people in the United States, affecting mostly children and teens. The disease causes the body to develop a thick mucus that clogs the lungs and often leads to life-threatening, and sometimes deadly, lung infections. CF also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes, preventing the body from breaking down and absorbing food. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation supports research to help those with CF live longer and healthier lives.
For more information on BERBA, visit http://www.BER-BayArea.com.
Interview with Brett Barker, Organizer, and Sue Emmert from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation -South Bay Branch