Wish Child Alivia at left, at the start of last year’s ride, will be back as a guest of honor at the fourth annual Ride for Wishes.

ALTON - Motorcyclists will take a fall ride to help children with life-threatening medical conditions realize their fondest dreams at the fourth annual Ride for Wishes Saturday, Oct. 7.

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“Each year we’ve drawn more riders and raised more money for deserving children. I expect our fourth ride to be the best yet,” said Norma Glazebrook, a principal organizer of the ride. “I can’t say enough good things about our signature sponsor, GCS Credit Union, and, of course, the riders themselves.”

Last year’s ride raised approximately $18,000 to make wishes come true for children in Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Greene and St. Clair counties.

The 70-mile nonstop motorcycle run starts at the Alton Moose Lodge 951, 526 E Delmar Ave. in Godfrey, behind the Target store on Homer Adams Parkway. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Free coffee and doughnuts will be available. The ride leaves at noon, rain or shine.

The Bull 93.7, new country music, will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. until noon at the Moose Lodge, thanks to a special arrangement by GCS Credit Union.

The ride is organized by the Southern Illinois Volunteers for Make-A-Wish, IL to help children in those six Southern Illinois counties as they battle such ailments as cystic fibrosis, brain tumors and cancers.

Early online registration is encouraged. Riders can register on Facebook at Ride for Wishes Southern Illinois or at www.mygcscu.com/RideForWishes. The first 100 people to register online will be eligible for a $100 drawing.

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The cost of the ride is $30 per person. Each rider and passenger will receive a T-shirt, a ride patch and/or rocker, a bandana and a goody bag as well as a complete barbeque dinner, catered by Carver’s, at the Moose Lodge after the ride. A cash bar will be available.

The ride route features an on-the-road contest for riders with a $100 prize. At ride’s end, there’ll be more contests, prizes, auctions, a 50-50 raffle and a drawing for a $250 gift card to Ted’s Motorcycle World.

Riders will hear from children who have had their wishes granted and those awaiting wishes. Those children and their families will be guests of honor.

“If you could see the look on a child’s face when you tell them their wish has been granted, you’ll never forget that,” Glazebrook said.

But, said Glazebrook, who has been a Make-A-Wish volunteer for more than 20 years, wishes do more than put smiles on children’s faces.

“These children are facing tough, tough times in many cases and studies have shown that fulfilling a child’s wish gives him or her added strength to get through treatments,” she said.

Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. In the last year, some 715 wishes were granted in Illinois. The average cost to make a child’s dream come true is about $6,500, including in-kind contributions from airlines and other corporations. Proceeds from this ride will be used only for children in Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Greene and St. Clair counties.

The ride’s principal sponsor is GCS Credit Union. The credit union began in 1941 in a single office in Granite City. GCS now serves members at eight branches across Southwestern Illinois, offering options for checking and savings accounts as well as personal, auto and home equity loans. The web address is www.mygcscu.com.

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