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Hundreds ride for the kids

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The 'Hillbilly Christmas in July' weekend wrapped up on Sunday with hundreds of motorcycles making the trip from Pikeville to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington.

Motorcycles filed into Harley-Davidson of Pikeville for the 8th Annual 'Hillbilly Christmas in July'...the 4th year as the Randy Jones Memorial Ride.

Jimmy Kinney says, "On a day like today it would not surprise me to pull out of here with 400 or 500 bikes." Kinney says that number grows throughout the 150 mile ride to Lexington, "We pick up bikes all along the road to Lexington, people are out waiting for us."

Not only will hundreds of bikes make the trip to Lexington but so will a trailer filled with around 8,000 toys.

That is because the ride and all the money raised....is for the kids.

Kinney says, "We have so many kids in our area that depend on that hospital. Just in Pike County we have over 360 patients and around 1,100 in the surrounding counties."

Children like, Breanna Hall, who is leading this year's ride as the grand marshall.

George Hall says, "She has some leg issues and stuff but they've been able to work miracles on her, she is in a lot of activities now."

Hall says is granddaughter is now able to participate like any other kid in tap, jazz, and ballet classes.

Michael Jackson says, "Anything for the kids is good. When you can donate your time and money, for those that can't do this...I am sure they would trade places with us everyday, to be able to ride in this versus being in a hospital."

Events like this are why Hall says his granddaughter is able to dance and do many other things, "She is having a quality of life that she couldn't have had without things like today, this motorcycle ride, and without the hospital."

Organizers say hat is why year after year, hundreds get on their bikes and ride for the kids.

Officials say they expect to generate between $30,000 and $35,000 from all of the events this weekend. All of that money goes directly to the hospital.

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