Annual motorcycle ride brings
awareness about Child Abuse, Safety
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The grandmother of a fatal child abuse victim hopes motorcyclists and even non-riders will help raise awareness about keeping kids safe.
Although 3-year-old Carmen Ellis is no longer alive, her memory lives on thanks to her family, friends and even people who never had to a chance to meet her.
“She was just the sweetest little girl and just very funny,” Tina Smith said.
Tina lights up talking about her late granddaughter Carmen. She and her husband, Lorin Smith who is also a motorcyclist, are organizing another annual fundraiser called the Carmen Ellis Memorial Ride, which started eight years ago following Carmen’s death.
“She died August 22, 2012, killed because of child abuse by my daughter’s boyfriend,” said Tina.
Every year since 2012, to remember Carmen, Tina has raised money for child abuse charity.
The Smiths have teamed up with local VFWs, which serves as some of the stops for the memorial ride. This year the fundraiser will also include kicking off with a breakfast where participants can make donations. The breakfast takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat buffet with a $7.75 donation. The memorial ride starts at The American Legion Post 495 located at 8725 East 38th St., in Indianapolis. The donation is $20 per motorcycle rider and just $5 per passenger. Kickstands up at 10:30 am.
The couple also plans to do a 50/50 drawing, auctions and raffles. Tina and Lorin don’t usually set a number of riders for each event but it has grown each year just by word of mouth. This year’s event will take place after missing last year.
The memorial ride happened last year but without Tina and Lorin. They both lost their lower left legs in crash with a distracted driver and spent months in physical therapy. So now they’re inviting everyone to be in Carmen’s Ride.
“You can be on a motorcycle, on a slingshot, a car, a truck or a van,” Tina said. “As long as it’s roadworthy you can be there with us.”
This year the memorial ride is even more special because it’s on Aug. 22, which is the same date Carmen received her heavenly wings.
Whether you do Carmen’s Ride or not Tina wants everyone to help with stopping child abuse.
“The child should come first,” Tina said. “They are so dependent on us, the adults, just adults to help them.”