On one of the nicest days that Colorado can have in Autumn we came together to celebrate the life of Jessica Christine Ridgeway. The Biker and Motorist community came together at Quaker Steak & Lube in Westminster, CO to have a Memorial Cruise in her honor.
Over 2,000 bikes, Hot Rods, and other vehicles came together with purple ribbons, bandannas, flags and decals for the ride. The bikes almost numbered in the amount of people that attended the event!
Tim Beckwith, of Beckwith Motorsports, wanted to do something for Jessica. He had only five days to set up something that he thought would make a difference. When I spoke to Tim for the first time I could sense his passion of wanting to do anything he could. He himself is a father and this hit really close to home for him. Tim gathered his team which included his father, Chris , his fathers best-friend, John, and his mother, “Tim’s Mom”, as she referred to herself to me and they got to work ( all pictured below with me).
The energy was positive. People came from all over Colorado and even from other surrounding states. Everyone who came to the event was suggested to donate $20, while some people gave less and other gave more, to go to Jessica’s Fund. The fund is set up to raise money for the Ridgeway family’s expenses during this time and to also help kick start the Jessica Ridgeway Foundation.
Everyone was asked to sign a memory book that was given to the family. People signed their names and gave a sign of support and prayers next to their name. A memento of the event that the family could not attend.
As the Jessica Memorial Cruise started, Tim put on a specially created bike helmet designed in the honor of Jessica (pictured below) and led the parade of motorcycles, choppers, hot-rods and other vehicles on to Highway 36. The route came up to Sheridan, West on 88th to Wadsworth, then North to 108th, the neighborhood where Jessica lived. The route continued West to Simms, then South to 100th, directly in front of Standley Lake. Then continued east back to Quaker Steak & Lube.
Along the route people stood along the street with signs of support, of course all wearing the color purple, which they later gave to the family. There were so many cars and bikes that people arrived back at the starting point before others had even left the starting line. It was great for the community to see and to be a part of.
The event brought the community together. It gave loving support to family and friends and also created a sense of comfort for the community. Everyone in the community and beyond has been affected by this tragedy and this event has shown people that there is still good in the world. People can come together and unite for a cause.
After the event was over and the thundering sounds of the motorcycles and hot-rods had died down we all went home and reflected on all the good that people had done all day. The kindness and love that Jessica has now inspired in all of us, the hearts she has touched.
The event generated $42, 923.00 and has now given a boost to help the Jessica Ridgeway Foundation, help with the purposed Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Gardens and help the family do other wonderful things in Jessica’s name.
A simple thank you can never express the deep feeling of appreciation and love the family and friends of Jessica Ridgeway have for Tim Beckwith and the rest of his family and crew. It’s not to often that you meet people willing to give everything they are to support people they have never even met. We would like to thank Quaker Steak & Lube for allowing the event to take place in their parking lot. We would also like to thank the Westminster Police Department and the Colorado State Highway Patrol for allowing this event to take place and keeping the ride as smooth as possible. Last but not least we would like to thank the community for all of their support. This event has ensured that we can have Jessica’s Name and Memory live on through her foundation.