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ALTON - Riders with the fourth annual Scott Reinke Memorial Ride to Fight Suicide will take to the roads on May 25, 2024, to celebrate Scott and raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Danne Reinke, Scott’s nephew, explained that the event hopes to spread awareness and raise funds to promote suicide prevention. Riders will meet at Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton and then travel to The Barefoot Restaurant in Hardin, stop at Hawg Pit BBQ in Grafton, and then end the day at Chico’s Lounge in Wood River. There will be door prizes and raffles along the way, and Danne promises a fun day for a good cause.

“Our goal is obviously to raise awareness,” Danne said. “Suicide is preventable, and helping people understand that there’s people they can talk to and things that they can do so they don’t have to end up dealing with a lot of the situations that our family’s had to deal with.”

Danne explained that Scott loved to ride his motorcycle and would travel to the Riverbend to ride with his friends and family every Memorial Day weekend. After his passing in 2020, the family decided to start a memorial ride in his honor. They learned that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention holds regular Rides to Fight Suicide, so they partnered with the organization to promote their programs.

Danne said that the donations they collect from the Scott Reinke Memorial Ride go directly to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Over the years, the money has supported the 988 crisis line, among other projects. This year, they hope to raise $15,000.

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Registration opens the day of the event at 9 a.m. at Ted’s Motorcycle World. The ride begins at 12 p.m. and will likely continue until 6:30 p.m. While motorcyclists make up most of the riders, Danne said there are also several cars and others who travel with them.

The event has grown every year, with almost 130 riders registered for last year’s ride. Danne hopes to see this number increase. He noted that they are also looking for sponsors to donate door prizes, raffle items and other funds to the event.

“We just really encourage folks to come out. We have our sponsors who provide us with lots of cool stuff,” he said. “There's ways that local businesses can help with this cause without writing a check. Of course, the ones that want to write a check, we’d love to talk to them, too. But if somebody wants to donate some services or some type of merchandise, we give out these door prizes at each of the stops.”

Danne encourages these businesses to get connected with him as soon as possible as they prepare to print the t-shirts for this year’s event. For more information about the Scott Reinke Memorial Ride to Fight Suicide, you can visit AFSP.org/ScottReinkeRide or call Danne at 618-567-9231.

While the ride itself will be a fun day, Danne emphasized the importance of their mission to fight suicide. He said suicide is preventable, and they hope the event can help people above all else.

“It helps us. Through doing this service to the community, it’s really helping us as a family to process it and understand it,” Danne added. “It was preventable, and it comes from us talking about it. People have to know that it’s okay to have thoughts like that. It doesn’t mean it’s okay to go through with it. There’s somebody out there that cares, that wants to listen and wants to help. And we’re just providing resources for those individuals and, unfortunately but fortunately, for the families that are affected by the loss of a loved one or friend.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. This free and confidential support is available 24/7. Additionally, you can find more resources and support at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at AFSP.org.

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