Ride the Brainwave benefitting families for a decade
Jun 28, 2018 03:03PM
● By Keyra Kristoffersen
Balloons are released in memory of the children from previous years who have since passed on. (Jaclyn Allen Tapia)
By Keyra Kristoffersen | [email protected]
The 10th annual Ride the Brainwave festival and fundraiser, hosted by Children & the Earth is at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center (2100 West 11400 South) in South Jordan on Saturday, June 23.
“We have a huge support from the community and we're super grateful,” said Amber Edmund, the managing trustee from Children & the Earth.
Children & the Earth is non-profit started by Edmund’s parents in 1999 when her mother, Lana Hall retired with a large amount of money.
“We've always been a charitable family, we've always donated to other charities,” said Edmund. “So we took $1,000,000 and started a foundation so we could do our own things.”
When Edmund was approached by a friend whose child was sick from a brain injury, the Ride the Brainwave fundraiser was created starting with 25 bikers the first year and grown to almost 400 with a 5k of over 800 runners, carnival, concert series and other events added over the years.
“Every year we try to expand it something new and so far everything's worked,” said Edmund.
This year, a UTV driving race with razors was added to the motorcyclists and runners along with a kid’s fair, food trucks, pirate ships, over 25 vendors and the music headliner, Royal Bliss.
Ride the Brainwave is designed not just to benefit one child at a time, but many children through fundraising teams. Each team represents one child or family and submits their information with needs and goals. The team then advertises through Ride the Brainwave for friends, family and whomever wishes to support that team to donate specifically for them or to participate in the Ride the Brainwave event.
Funds donated to the team are given directly to them, while funds from the whole event are split between the teams. Bikers, runners and drivers are given a back tag with information about each child being sponsored for the ride. That is then designed by the family to incorporate the interests of the child like Superman or music, instead of a number because, Edmund said, our children aren’t numbers.
Children who are able to leave home or the hospital to participate are brought on stage and tell their stories.
“It’s a nice tribute to them,” said Edmund.
For children who have participated in previous years and have since passed on, they honor them by releasing balloons into the sky.
Children with diseases as varied as autism, cancer and brain lesions are represented at the fundraiser. The Tapia family of West Jordan has a 3 year-old who began having seizures at four days old and after many tests, an MRI finally told them that she has a rare genetic disorder called Lissencephaly, which means that her brain is completely smooth. Doctors couldn’t tell the Tapia family how long Emma would live or how developed she could become. But so far, she has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“We can't spend too much time worrying about the future or what if this happens, we have to just be in the day and in the moment or else we'd be a complete mess,” said Jaclyn Tapia.
A friend who had participated told Tapia about the fundraiser and how it could be used to assist with medical and household bills. This helps the Tapia family a lot because Emma has eight different specialty doctors and the family has a 7 year-old daughter who adores her little sister, who they’re trying to raise as normally as possible.
“We put up a tent to come and hang out with us,” said Tapia. “We just enjoy the day helping raise awareness and funds for all of these are amazing kids.”
Teams are also able to invite virtual runners and riders to participate and the funds go to them for those with family and friends not able to attend in South Jordan.
“It brings tears to your eyes to see all of these bikers pull out one by one as they all go together down the road,” said Tapia.
Children & the Earth raise funds and participate in charity work year-round but this is their biggest event of the year.
“They need a fun-filled family day and something for everyone, toddlers to adults,” said Edmund. “It's a huge fun day and it benefits so many kids in so many ways.”
For more information about Children & the Earth and Ride the Brainwave, visit: https://www.childrenandtheearth.com/.