TUCSON, Ariz. -- The 2020 Hearts on Wheels Charity Ride took place Saturday morning --all in an effort to raise funds for a University of Arizona motor police officer diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
More than 100 motorcyclists rode around town in support of the UAPD officer, KGUN9 was asked to keep his name private for safety reasons.
The roughly three hour ride started at the Pima Air and Space Museum and came to an end at La Mariposa Resort.
Gabrielle Rhind, the founder of the Kent's Heart & Hope Foundation— who organized this event— says it was a great turn-out.
“Just riding through town and just feeling all of the love from the people in the community. That everybody wants to do their part to help a fellow officer, especially in today’s climate….it’s overwhelming,” she added.
Rhind says they were able to raise more than $15,200 in one day.
Proceeds from the charity ride will go to the UAPD officer to help with medical expenses.
“There are a lot of services and assistance available for first responders that are hurt or killed in the line of duty. But if an officer gets an occupational officer or they get ill, there’s nothing and they have to stop working. And that’s where our foundation steps in. We fill a gap,” Rhind told KGUN9.
Her husband, Kent, was a TPD motor officer for 25 years. She says he passed away of occupational cancer.
“When he got sick, we realized, once he quit working, I couldn’t work...we had no income. And we made it just our mission that we could not let other people go through that. If we can do something to make somebody’s outcome better than my husband’s was, then that’s really where it is for me,” she said.
So she will continue doing charity rides in his honor and helping first responders along the way.
Here’s her message to the UAPD officer:
“We love you and we know your outcome is going to be a good one,” she told KGUN9 with a smile.
For more information on the Kent's Heart & Hope Foundation, click here.