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posted: 8/25/2012 12:32 AM

Aurora cops raising money for Special Olympics

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Officers from the Aurora Police Department, in association with Suicide Prevention Services in Batavia, are staging a motorcycle ride with proceeds going to Special Olympics Illinois and Suicide Prevention Services.

The Ride for the Athletes Motorcycle Poker Run will be Sunday, Sept. 9, starting at AMVETS Post 103, 1194 Jericho Road. Registration opens at 9 a.m. with the first motorcyclists beginning their treks on a 100-mile "fun" course beginning at 11 a.m.

The timed ride will wind through rural Kane, Kendall, Grundy and LaSalle counties and take between three and four hours. Five stops are scheduled along the "out and back" course and riders must conform to the time limits.

All riders and passengers will be entered in a poker raffle that features three grand prizes.

The event will end with an after-ride gathering at the Brown Pub, 200 N. Somonauk Road, in Hinckley, where nonriders are invited to join the motorcyclists for live music, numerous raffles including a 50/50, and more. Donations will be taken to help raise awareness for the missions of Special Olympics and Suicide Prevention Services and everyone is invited to attend.

The event will be held rain or shine.

Entry fees are $15 per driver and $10 per passenger. Tickets may be purchased the day of the ride or at the Aurora Policemen's Credit Union, 1200 E. Indian Trail Road.

The "Ride for Athletes" is sponsored by AMVETS Post 103, the Knights of Columbus, the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Suicide Prevention Services, The Brown Pub, and Ideal Tool Co. For information, call Aurora Police Sgt. Doug Podschweit at (630) 256-5772.

Special Olympics Illinois provides year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Suicide Prevention Services' mission is to reduce suicide risk and completions through aggressive public education and outreach, depression screening, and early identification and intervention programs and services.

The Ride for the Athletes comes on the heels of the annual Run for the Athletes 5K on Aug. 15 that raised more than $2,300 for Special Olympics.

Sgt. Podschweit, who oversees the fundraising events, called the run, "the most successful to date," and will result in the department meeting its goal of raising $15,000 this year for Special Olympics.

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