Monday, March 09, 2009 - 2nd Annual Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride Benefits Chris Evert Children’s Hospital

Fort Lauderdale, FL – More than 150 motorcyclists and 200 community members recently rallied at Broward General Medical Center to kick off the 2nd Annual Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride.  The Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation, in conjunction with the Broward Health Foundation, raised proceeds to benefit the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

“I want to sincerely thank the Big Bike Riders Children Foundation and the Broward Health Foundation for all they have done and will continue to do,” said James Thaw, chief executive officer at Broward General Medical Center (BGMC). “It is because of charities like these that we are able to make our children’s hospital as special as it is.”

The Celebration of Smiles Ride started at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital at Broward General Medical Center and ended at the Wetz Pub in Sunrise.  The morning event included a light breakfast for all registered riders, an event pin and patch.  There was a brief proclamation by Vice Mayor of Fort Lauderdale Charlotte Rodstrom, acknowledgements from BGMC CEO James Thaw, and, Vice President of the Broward Health Foundation Michael S. Long.  Tyler Martinez, a former patient at the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, was recognized for his Live2Give campaign and Broward Sheriff Officer, Sergeant Peter Geary was also there to speak to riders about the “rules of the road” before beginning the 52 mile ride.

Twenty-three Broward Sheriff Officers provided escort to Wetz Pub where participants were provided food, beverages, biker games, a custom bike show and music performed by The Fabulons and Southern Rock Society.  A silent auction was also held at the fundraiser.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit