By Jarred Meeks
Each year, the Zionsville American Legion Riders take to motorcycles to honor and support a Zionsville family with a child diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma in a benefit called Josiah’s Ride. They will do so again this year Sept. 14.
Josiah’s Ride: Cruzin’ 4 a Cure was started in 2007 to assist a Zionsville boy named Josiah Nelson. He now, after receiving treatment which was partially paid for with the help of donations from the benefit, attends Purdue University, and Josiah’s Ride continues to help others that are diagnosed with the forms of cancer.
This year, Josiah’s Ride will benefit Jackson Williams, a Zionsville Community High School graduate who will be forced to forgo attending Purdue University in favor of seeking treatment.
Since 2007, the riders have raised $147,434 which has helped 15 families. Last year, the benefit raised a total of $17,010.
The donations from the benefit go to sponsored families and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Donations of food and gas gift cards also are made to other families at St. Vincent Children’s Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health North to help offset costs during clinic stays.
“With cancer treatment involving a child, parents lose time from work; the child loses time from the classroom,” said Amanda Harmon, a ZCHS teacher and American Legion Auxiliary member. “There are many needs for financial assistance, whether that be medical care or even meals on the go, gas money, getting the treatments – the care that you need from the professionals because it really does affect everybody in the family.”
This year’s benefit will begin with volunteers serving breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Zionsville American Legion, 9950 E. 600 South. The ride will begin at 10:45 a.m., bounce houses will be open at 3 p.m., and a dinner will be held at 4 p.m. with silent auction winners announced later in the night.
The event is open to the public. To register for the benefit or make a donation, visit josiahsride.com.