For the past decade, Michael Maddox has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Georgia Health Sciences Children's Medical Center. Michael's inspiration comes from a special place in his heart
Over the past 10 years, we've really grown. We started out with 60 bikes and we've grown to 250-300 bikes every year now," says Maddox.
Michael spearheads the second largest motorcycle ride in Georgia. The Kelsi Long Memorial Ride is dedicated to a special little angel.
Kelsi is my granddaughter and she was still born at 8-and-a-half months, due to Down Syndrome. Shortly after that, we were doing charity rides and stuff and one day, the Lord just laid it on my heart and say we needed to do that mainly to help kids and help young parents that go through something like that just to keep Kelsi's memory alive and going," he says.
"Kelsi was a blessing to our family...gone too soon. At the time it happened, we can't help question why. Ten years later, $80,000 later...we are starting to see there is a greater plan than ours. Obviously, our sacrifice has led to the blessing of several other families. Hundreds of kids that have been helped through the hospital," says Michael's daughter, Kelly Usry.
While the Kelsi Long Memorial Ride is Michael's creation, he knows that he could not organize a project of this magnitude on his own. "I stay on the road all the time. I leave Sunday and come back Thursday. I thank God for cell phones. Volunteers and our family works on this also and they are making phone calls and writing letters and stuff like that. It's a family and group effort. It's not just me, there's a whole group of people behind me that take of things for me," he says.
"There's many, many staff behind us that do the work and it was a collective decision that we nominate him for the Giving Your Best Award. Working with my Daddy is awesome. I've always been a Daddy's girl. I already think he's the greatest Daddy ever," says Kelly.
For more information on the Kelsi Long Memorial Ride, just head over to the foundation website. http://www.kelfoundation.org.
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