This month Honda celebrates 50 years of American dreams. For more than 20 of those years, Honda has powered the dream of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) to find a cure for a devastating disease. Its sponsorship of the national Ride for Kids® program has brought hope to countless children and their families.
American Honda first became involved with the Ride for Kids® in 1986 by donating a motorcycle as the grand prize for the Atlanta event. Over the years the relationship grew into a formal sponsorship of the entire Ride for Kids® program, now in 39 cities across America.
The PBTF was honored to be a part of Honda’s 50th anniversary ceremony earlier this month at American Honda headquarters in Torrance, Calif. One of the featured speakers was Michelle Higa, a brain tumor survivor, Ride for Kids® participant and PBTF college scholarship recipient.
"On behalf of all pediatric brain tumor survivors and their families, thank you for the countless amounts of time and effort you have given, thank you for supporting us, thank you for funding the research to find a cure, and most of all thank you for giving us the best gift of all-the gift of life," Higa told Honda associates and other dignitaries at the June 11 event.
PBTF President and Ride for Kids® co-founder Mike Traynor is inspired by Honda’s anniversary. "The challenges that Honda faced in 1959 when they started their efforts to build motorcycles in America was viewed by some as an impossible mission," he said. "As the record shows, they were undeterred, and have created a stunning record of achievement in motorcycle and automobile design, production and sales over the past 50 years."
Similar questions were raised in 1984 when the Ride for Kids began, Traynor recalled. "But like Honda, we did not relinquish our dream to save the lives of childhood brain tumor patients," he said. "This resulted in creation of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which is today the world’s leading pediatric brain tumor research and family support organization."
Traynor added that while many sources have contributed to that success, American Honda has been the PBTF’s largest contributor and supporter for the past 20 years. "In that time period thousands of motorcyclists have attended 400 Ride for Kids events and have helped us raise over $50 million," he said. "Thousands of childhood brain tumor patients are alive today thanks to the continuing support of Honda."
The outlook for Honda, the PBTF Ride for Kids® and pediatric brain tumor patients is bright, Traynor continued. "This is the beginning of another 50 years of Honda enhancing the lives of millions of customers," he said, "and I can assure you that our efforts to bring an end to childhood brain tumors will continue to expand."