The eighth annual Finger Lakes Ride for Missing Children rolled into Reynolds Elementary last Friday morning.
Students screamed with excitement as approximately 50 cyclists pedaled by the children, slapping their hands as they passed.
Clicky, the mascot for the ride, greeted children and rapped about different safety rules such as checking with the adult in charge before going anywhere with someone, never go anywhere alone and let the adult in charge know if you are made uncomfortable or confused by someone. Children also received pencils from ride participants.
"This is the best day of my life," said an excited Alex Boak, a second-grader at the school.
Sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children/New York (NCMEC/NY), the Finger Lakes Ride for Missing Children is a 100-mile ride made by cyclists, or "Friends of Missing Children," which raises funds to support prevention education programs and to remember all missing children.
It is estimated more than 2,000 children are reported missing in the United States each day. For most families, this is only a brief scare as the child turns up in a few minutes or hours. But for some, the nightmare of a missing child becomes a grim reality. NCMEC's mission is to help recover missing children, protect all children from sexual exploitation, and assist in the prevention of these crimes.
Funds raised by the Finger Lakes Ride for Missing Children remain in the local community to provide case assistance and spearhead prevention education services across upstate New York.
This year's ride began in Port Byron and stopped in Baldwinsville, Elbridge and Skaneateles before wrapping up in Auburn Friday afternoon.
Alex Boak (first student, right) , a second-grader at Reynolds Elementary School in Baldwinsville, slaps the hands of cyclists as the Ride for Missing Children arrives at the school last Friday.