ALTON - All vehicles in the eighth annual Ride for Wishes will be getting extra attention from Wish Children this year as the children select their Wish Children’s Favorites.

Wish Child Alexis with mom Ashley“This year we opened the Ride to all street-legal vehicles and we thought we’d let Wish Children at the event choose their favorite vehicle among the motorcycles, hotrods and dune buggies,” said Jeanne Wuellner, co-director of the event.

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“We thought that would add a little more fun for the kids and all the participants,” fellow co-director Trena Wells said. “The winners among the different types of vehicles will receive a certificate proclaiming theirs as a “Wish Children’s Favorite.”

The ride starts at noon Saturday, Sept. 17, at Ted’s Motorcycle World, 4103 Humbert Road in Alton, and ends at Alton Sports Tap, 3812 College Ave., with an after-ride party and dinner.

Sign-up, with giveaways and free bagels, begins at 10 a.m. and leaves at noon for a 45-mile nonstop tour through Madison and Jersey counties. The ride will be escorted by Illinois State Police motorcycle officers.

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The after-ride party includes lunch, contests, a raffle, giveaways and a silent auction. The cost is $25 for a rider and $20 for a passenger. Participants can sign up early and be entered into a $100 drawing at Ride for Wishes Southern Illinois on Facebook.

The ride is again dedicated to Norma Glazebrook, the state’s longest serving Make-A-Wish volunteer. Glazebrook, an honored civic leader and volunteer, began the ride in 2014. She died last year at the age of 89. She granted more than 300 wishes in her 35 years with Make-A-Wish.

In eight years, the ride has raised more than $120,000 to make wishes come true for children facing serious illnesses. The ride is organized by the Southern Illinois Volunteers for Make-A-Wish, IL to help children battle such ailments as cystic fibrosis, brain tumors and cancers. All money raised by the ride goes to help youngsters in Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Greene and St. Clair counties. The average wish costs about $6,000 in addition to in-kind donations by hotels, airlines and similar donors.

“We couldn’t make wishes come true were it not for support from our riders and our sponsors, especially our Signature Sponsor GCS Credit Union, which has been so generous,” Wuellner said.

“When facing serious illnesses, Wish children go through so much with treatments or surgeries. Getting a Wish fulfilled gives them a better outlook and strength to continue,” said Wuellner. “I’m so grateful to the Ride participants and sponsors. They make wishes come true.”

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