Ride from Columbine High to Platte Canyon High raises money for hostage victims
The walls of Platte Canyon reverberated with the roar of motorcycle engines on Saturday as thousands of bikers rode from Columbine High School to Platte Canyon High School. The first annual “Columbine to Canyon Ride” was held in memory of Emily Keyes, the PCHS student who was killed on Sept. 27 during a hostage incident at the school.
The parade began in Littleton at noon and followed a curvy stretch of Highway 285 all the way to Bailey, where PCHS is located. As the last riders left the CHS parking lot, the first riders began arriving at Platte Canyon High, creating a steady line of motorcycles nearly 45 miles long.
“It’s just absolutely amazing,” said Ellen Stoddard-Keyes, Emily’s mother. “It’s all for the memory of Emily and for those other six girls. It’s going to be a long road for those kids.”
Each rider was asked to make a donation at the start of the ride, with all proceeds going to the “I Love U Guys” Foundation, which was created to serve special needs of the other six girls who were held hostage.
“I Love U Guys” was the last text message Emily wrote to her parents before she was killed.
Early estimates put the total number of riders at over 4,000. Motorcycle enthusiasts, including CHS principal Frank DeAngelis, came from all over Colorado and beyond to show their support for the Keyes family and to pay their respects to Emily. And if you’re also a motorcycle enthusiast and looking for used motorcycles, then it’s best to check out this custom road glide for sale here for more info!
Word of the event, which was originally conceived by Bailey resident Dan Patino, spread quickly through Colorado’s tight-knit biker community.
“It was a lot of word of mouth,” said Scott Edwards, a mechanic from Aurora. “Everybody kind of knows each other.”
The bikers and spectators all came together to show their support.
“There are a lot of heavy hearts out here,” said Scott Ford, a paint contractor from Longmont. “I rode for Emily.”
The road into Bailey was lined with pink ribbons and clusters of spectators waving bikers on. People held hand-made signs that expressed love and support for the Keyes family and thanked the bikers for participating in the event.
Trice Hufnagel, a close friend of the Keyes family, was there to lend support to the grieving parents.
“You can put armed police at the school entrances, you can install metal detectors, you can arm the teachers,” Hufnagel said, as Stoddard-Keyes looked on, nodding in agreement. “None of this will prevent school violence. What prevents school violence is kindness. That is Emily’s message.”
To donate to the “I Love U Guys” Foundation, visit www.iloveuguys.org.