Ride For Missing Children: Last Stop ‘Cuse! Ride For Missing Children: Last Stop 'Cuse!

 SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — On Friday, The Ride For Missing Children made its last stop in Syracuse, NY.

Over a 100 bikers united at Sport Center 481 to ride through Syracuse, making stops at five nearby schools. The ride supports and creates awareness for abducted, exploited, and missing children.

Anyone can donate to the cause, and support the riders and who they’re riding for. The event takes place in four other different Central New York locations, including Rochester, Buffalo, Utica and Albany.

I attended this year’s event in Syracuse with Kienan Dixon, and the organizer for the Syracuse installment of the event, James Sleeper, was elated by the amount of support this year’s event was getting.

Sleeper is well known in the community, and has been organizing the event for years.

He says events like these are important because it is imperative that kids learn how to use the internet safely.

“Part of our big push is education of the internet world,” Sleeper says. “How to be safe, how to be a good internet user, and how to have trust in adults and people to talk to so no one goes missing.”

Online chat rooms and social media are the primary source of child abductions and bullying. That is the biggest problem Sleeper is looking to solve.

“We’re getting reports of children as young as 13 saying that they can’t sleep because they’re up every hour checking their phone if someone’s saying something bad about them. The cyberbullying is really awful what’s going on in the schools.”

Executive Director  Ed Suk for the CNY division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was also at the event. He says, “Our goal is to make certain that kids are navigating that online life in a safe way. So, we talk to kids about safety online, we talk with them about cyberbullying.”

But not only do those who organize the event take child safety very seriously, but the cyclists themselves feel like the event makes such a strong impact on the kids. Sydney Bheuler, who’s riding for Jeremy Swain says, “It’s life changing, it really is. Because no matter where you look it’s educating our children, it’s educating our families, and it’s educating our community.”

More important than anything, the kids show their appreciation for the cyclists when they stop by. “We’re kinda the party part of the whole thing,” Sleeper says. “The children will love us , they’ll be out having a great time. Cheer us on…”

If you want to donate to the cause, or learn more information, visit therideformissingchildren.com to find out how you can help.

NAME:JAMES SLEEPER INCUE:AND ON THE INTERNET OUTCUE:SO NO ONE GOES MISSING]Part of our big push is education of the internet world. How to be safe, how to be a good internet user, and how to have trust in adults and people to talk to so no one goes missing.”

NAME:STEPHANIE BHUELER
INCUE:NO ONE GOES MISSING OUTCUE:AND OUR COMMUNITY]
Its life changing, it really is. Because no matter where you look it’s educating our
children, it’s educating our families, and it’s educating our community.

(REPORTER: DARRON WALLACE)
THE 12TH ANNUAL RIDE FOR MISSING CHILDREN TOOK PLACE TODAY AT ITS LAST STOP IN CENTRAL NEW YORK.
THE EVENT RAISES AWARENESS FOR
ABDUCTED AND MISSING CHILDREN AND EDUCATES CHILDREN ON INTERNET SAFETY.
THE BIKERS WILL RIDE THROUGH
SYRACUSE, MAKING FIVE REST STOPS AT NEARBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.

Over 100 bikers gathered in Syracuse for the Ride for Missing Children. And the organizer for the event, James Sleeper, says this event means even more for the kids than it means for him.

JAMES SLEEPER

(REPORTER: DARRON WALLACE)
SLEEPER SAYS IN TODAY’S SOCIETY, ITS
EASIER THAN EVER TO BE AFFECTED BY SOMEONE’S WORDS ON THE INTERNET.

SLEEPER
We’re getting reports of children as young as 13 saying that they can’t sleep because they’re up every hour checking their phone if someone’s saying something bad about them. The cyberbullying is really awful what’s going on in the schools.

DARRON WALLACE
ED SUK, THEEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR
THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING
AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN, SAYS IT IS CRUCIAL TO TEACH KIDS HOW TO SAFELY ROAM THE WEB.

SUK
Our goal is to make certain that kids are navigating that online life in a safe way. So, we talk to kids about safety online, we talk with them about cyberbullying.

WALLACE
ABDUCTED AND MISSING CHILDREN DEVASTATE FAMILIES, BUT TODAY’S RIDE GIVES THOSE FAMILIES JUST A LITTLE BIT OF HOPE.
DARRON WALLACE, N-C-C NEWS

Reported by

Darron Wallace

Darron Wallace Syracuse Alum '19 Newhouse MS BDJ SCE '20

Other stories by Darron Wallace

Related Articles