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Barringer welcomes the Ride for Missing Children

two cyclists wave to cheering children

Barringer Road Elementary decked itself out in blue, pink, and white to welcome more than 460 riders in the 2018 Ride for Missing Children.

Students wearing BRS headbands lined the traffic circle. They held signs and noisemakers to encourage the riders when they arrived. A DJ blasted tunes that kept everyone dancing as they waited.

At about 2:30 the riders poured into the Barringer drive led by pairs of police cars. Students and staff lined the circle, cheering the cyclists as they looped past the entrance and parked their bikes in the parking lot. Most riders headed straight to the beverages and snacks—all welcome on a hot, humid day that sapped their energy. A few wandered up and down the rows of students, slapping hands, and thanking everyone for their support.

This is the second year Barringer Road has been a stop on the Ride. And again, the school celebrated.

That celebration, however, did not overshadow the real importance of the Ride and the riders. This is a fundraiser for the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children – NCMEC-NY/MV. This local office produces and distributes posters of missing children throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Over the years, this has resulted in the safe return of 7,655 children.

 

dozens of bicyclists on the road

But not every story has a happy ending. And so another part of the organization’s mission is to raise awareness and to promote child safety.

Barringer Road principal Aaron Carey said in his brief remarks, “Your leg powered motorcade announces and inspires to everyone that no
matter what…you will never stop searching… you will never give up… you will never forget the missing children.”

The official ceremony ended with the release of blue, pink, and white balloons into the sky.

“These balloons will fill the sky in an awning of awareness,” Carey said.

As they drifted upward, Colleen Ring-Campbell’s elementary school choir sang “Somewhere Out There.”

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Nine riders dressed in pink, light blue, white riding shirts posed

Nine Central Valley riders took part in this year’s Ride (kneeling l to r) Martha Higgins, Colleen Reitz, Ellen Burney, (standing) Emilie Huxley, Jennifer Arcuri, Karen Casler, John Pagnotta, and Mary Day