COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)—The Miracle Riders are a brotherhood on bikes, but they are far from rebels without a cause. In 2009, Miracle Riders founder Scott Ressmeyer, 64, rode his motorcycle through 48 states to raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Midtown Medical Center for his 50th birthday.
Today, the Miracle Riders are 30 strong and are preparing for their annual Miracle Ride, a fundraiser for Columbus State University’s nursing program which will take them on a 12,000 mile ride to all four corners of the United States. On Thursday, April 20 at 3 p.m. Ressmeyer and a group of Miracle Riders officially announced their ride alongside CSU representatives.
“It kinda warms your heart actually,” said Ressmeyer, who has no children himself but enjoys helping kids, especially those going through hardships.
“Just to know that we had a little bit of something to do with maybe bringing a smile to their face one day, just by showing up…it’s just kinda in all of our hearts what we want to do,” Ressmeyer said. He explained that when the Miracle Riders show up, kids are bound to be curious and crack a smile.
On the road, Ressmeyer said that people tend to assume that a motorcycle gang is pulling up behind them, until they stop and get to know them.
“They find out [we’re] a bunch of guys with really big hearts and, you know, they’re doing something that they enjoy doing – riding motorcycles,” said Ressmeyer.
Dr. John M. Fuchko, CSU’s interim president said that when he first arrived in Columbus, he was first introduced to the Miracle Riders when he went to lunch with Dr. Rocky Kettering, CSU’s vice president for university advancement at Country’s Barbecue, which Resmeyer has worked at since 1975 and now owns.
“Just seeing the heart of these men, you know, I think they wear sunglasses a lot for, among other things, because you might catch them with a tear,” Fuchko said as he gave closing remarks gesturing to the group of men behind him in matching dusters, leather hats, dark sunglasses and flower leis.
He said that the impact which the riders have had on CSU students and the community something he is incredibly grateful for. Currently the Miracle Riders are looking to raise $1 million for CSU nursing which they began working with in 2021. Last year, they raised $225,000 which was put toward special equipment for CSU’s pediatric simulation lab for training students.
The Miracle Ride will take place from May 22 to June 16 of this year and the riders hope to raise $300,000 to improve CSU’s mother-baby simulation lab.
Ressmeyer said that riding 500 miles a day back-to-back-to-back can be a challenge, especially when weather gets rough, but the Miracle Riders’ goal keeps them motivated.
“At the end of the day, you know, there’s kids out there that are going through a lot more struggles than we’re going through, so we just pick up our bootstraps and we get on the bike and we go…” said Ressmeyer who explained that the money they raise can help kids in hospitals get sufficient care as it helps nurses receive better training.
In her remarks about the impact of CSU’s partnership with the Miracle Riders, Dr. Margie Yates, the interim dean of college education and heath professions at CSU said, “We are proud to be associate with such an amazing and wonderful group of men who care deeply about improving health care.”
She said that the impact the bikers have had on the technology and training equipment available to students has helped them to achieve great things. Yates said, “Your generosity is boundless.”
For more information on the Miracle Riders, visit www.rideformiracles.com.