Sports stars to ride through town for charity

Kyle Petty's Ride Across America to make stop in Grand Junction today

The roar and rumble of 175 motorcycles will arrive in Grand Junction today when the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America rolls into town.

Petty, a former NASCAR driver and son to NASCAR legend Richard Petty, is scheduled to lead riders into the parking lot of the DoubleTree by Hilton on Horizon Drive at around 4 p.m.

The cross-country motorcycle trek benefits Victory Junction, a camp created to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical illnesses.

Petty said the ride started with a small group of friends and has grown into a special event that raises funds for a worthwhile cause.

“I’m grateful for the chance to spend time with friends, while meeting fans and generous supporters who ultimately help create memorable and fun camp experiences for wonderful children and their families,” Petty said in a news release.

Former National Football League great Herschel Walker will also be taking part in his eighth Ride Across America, which is in its ninth year.

Walker, who won the 1982 Heisman Trophy while playing at Georgia, said he is proud to be part of such an event.

“(Petty) works so hard and cares so much about the riders and the children who attend Victory Junction,” Walker said in the news release. “It’s truly a blessing to be a part of this experience.”

Fans and spectators are encouraged to stop by the DoubleTree and visit with the riders. Another way to donate to the ride is through the “Small Change. Big Impact” program, which also benefits children with chronic illnesses.

The Victory Junction camp has been the charity ride’s primary beneficiary since it was established by the Petty family in 2004 in honor of their late son, Adam.

The camp, located in Randleman, N.C., is for children ages 6 to 16 with chronic medial conditions or serious illnesses.

According to the news release, the camp’s mission is to “provide life-changing camp experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering.”

More than 17,500 children and their families have taken part in the camp since its inception. The charity ride has raised nearly $15 million throughout the years.

The ride, which will travel more than 2,100 miles, started in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on April 27 and will end in Tempe, Ariz., on May 3. The ride will head to Durango after Grand Junction.

For more information on Victory Junction, go to http://www.victoryjunction.org.

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