By Libby Hopkins
Brenda Walsh found an inner strength she didn’t know she after her daughter, Shannon Walsh Revette passed away from cancer in July of 2005.
“My daughter was great and she loved life,” Walsh said. “Her goal in life was to help others.”
Before Revette passed, she asked her mother to promise that she would continue to help other people with cancer, especially children. “My daughter said if I can save one child, it would be worth her dying,” Walsh said.
Walsh has been riding motorcycles for more than 40 years and she thought organizing a bike run would be the best way to honor her daughter’s request and help raise money for cancer.
“I feel like doing this ride helps me keep my daughter’s memory alive and it helps women and children surviving with cancer have great weekend of fun,” Walsh said.
The Annual Shannon Walsh Revette Memorial Ride is in its seventh year and all of the proceeds raised from the ride go to benefit Faces of Courage, a nonprofit organization that offers free camps and events for women and children with cancer and blood illnesses. The organization holds its camps at Camp Rotary in Brandon. Peggie Sherry, director of the organization, met Walsh after she started volunteering at one of Sherry’s camps. “Brenda always told me how much Shannon loved children and had been a mentor to other cancer children while she was battling her own fight against this horrible disease,” Sherry said. “She started this ride as a fundraiser for Faces of Courage and has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support our cancer camps.”
Sherry and Walsh are looking for more bikers to join this year’s ride. It will take place on Sunday, September 30, at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Post 138, located at 5535 W. Prescott St. in Tampa, and will end at L.A. Hangout in Lutz at 4 p.m. The cost is $15 per rider and $5 for an additional rider. Lunch is included in the cost and the first 100 participants will get a free T-shirt. Last year, the ride raised $15,000 and this year Sherry is hoping it will raise $20,000.
For more information on Faces of Courage or to participate in this year’s ride, visit www.facesofcourage.org.