Annual Alyssa's Ride

The Fourth Annual Alyssa’s Ride, an ATV/UTV Poker Run, will be held in Northeast Kansas next month.

Marcus and Amy Hutchens will host their fourth annual fundraising event in Northeast Kansas next month to benefit a non-profit organization they created in remembrance of their daughter Alyssa Hutchens. The parents created the non-profit organization Remembering Alyssa Inc. in March 2016 to benefit organizations that their daughter had supported. Alyssa’s sister, Katelyn, also aids the organization. Alyssa was diagnosed with H1N1 Swine Flu accompanied by strep and pneumonia in 2011 at Children’s Mercy Hospital. During that time, she developed sepsis and suffered organ failure. She ended her life in 2014 at the age of 16 due to chronic medical conditions. Amy Hutchens said the organization hopes to remove the stigma associated with suicide. She said Alyssa enjoyed playing sports and played competitive basketball, volleyball and softball. She also spent hours riding a 4-wheeler and would go on family rides down country roads. To honor her life, her parents host an annual ATV/UTV poker run in Easton, Kansas, with proceeds going to benefit organizations that she volunteered at or that aided her during her illness. Alyssa had volunteered at Children’s Mercy and when she was in the hospital her parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald Family Room to be near her. The Fourth Annual Alyssa’s Ride, an ATV/UTV Poker Run, will raise funds for these organizations. The event will cover approximately 55 miles on county gravel road in Leavenworth, Jefferson and Atchison Counties. There will be five stops involving a game of skill to complete the scorecard at each stop and prizes will be awarded to the top poker hands.

Marcus and Amy Hutchens will host their fourth annual fundraising event in Northeast Kansas next month to benefit a non-profit organization they created in remembrance of their daughter Alyssa Hutchens.

The parents created the non-profit organization Remembering Alyssa Inc. in March 2016 to benefit organizations that their daughter had supported. Alyssa’s sister, Katelyn, also aids the organization.

Alyssa was diagnosed with H1N1 Swine Flu accompanied by strep and pneumonia in 2011 at Children’s Mercy Hospital. During that time, she developed sepsis and suffered organ failure. She ended her life in 2014 at the age of 16 due to chronic medical conditions.

Amy Hutchens said the organization hopes to remove the stigma associated with suicide.

She said Alyssa enjoyed playing sports and played competitive basketball, volleyball and softball. She also spent hours riding a 4-wheeler and would go on family rides down country roads.

To honor her life, her parents host an annual ATV/UTV poker run in Easton, Kansas, with proceeds going to benefit organizations that she volunteered at or that aided her during her illness.

Alyssa had volunteered at Children’s Mercy and when she was in the hospital her parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald Family Room to be near her.

The Fourth Annual Alyssa’s Ride, an ATV/UTV Poker Run, will raise funds for these organizations. The event will cover approximately 55 miles on county gravel road in Leavenworth, Jefferson and Atchison Counties. There will be five stops involving a game of skill to complete the scorecard at each stop and prizes will be awarded to the top poker hands.

The charities that they have donated to each year are Children’s Mercy Hoops for Happiness Project, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, two scholarships at Pleasant Ridge High School and a nursing scholarship at Children’s Mercy.

The two new charities they have added for this year are the Catholic Charities of Leavenworth/Emergency Assistance Center and the Leavenworth County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

She said last year the event had a record number of sponsors and participants.

Last year, the organization also finished raising funds that were used to build a second water well in Uganda, Africa, that’s in Alyssa’s name.

“Our family has the opportunity to go travel to view the well this summer in Uganda,” Hutchens said. “It was just opened in December and it was open the day before Alyssa’s birthday.”

The water will be used at an elementary school that had not previously had access to clean water.

She said it took the organization over three years to raise the $10,500 it cost for the well.

“It is a huge accomplishment and without the support of the community and those participating in the ride, it wouldn’t have been possible,” Hutchens said.

Registration for the fundraiser will be at 9 a.m. and the ATV/UTV ride will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. The ride will start at 101 East Riley Street in Easton, Kansas.

Registration will be $20 a driver and $10 a passenger. A complimentary lunch will be provided with the registration fee. There will also be raffles and t-shirts available for purchase at the event.

For more information, visit www.rememberingalyssa.live or go on Facebook. The organization can be contacted by phone at 913-547-1168 or by email at rememberingalyssainc@gmail.com.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at news@greenacressells.com