JOPLIN — More than 180 motorcyclists participated in Sunday's MDA Ride For Life, which began at Hideout Harley Davidson in Joplin and concluded at Indigo Sky Casino, west of Seneca.
Prior to the ride, MDA executive director Lacey Goins said the event continues a long-standing tradition.

JOPLIN — More than 180 motorcyclists participated in Sunday’s MDA Ride For Life, which began at Hideout Harley Davidson in Joplin and concluded at Indigo Sky Casino, west of Seneca.
Prior to the ride, MDA executive director Lacey Goins said the event continues a long-standing tradition.
“This (Ride For Life) has been going on for 30-plus years,” she said. “It has just been a great blessing for us to have all of you (participants) to be apart of this, seeing new faces and of course our veteran riders, we really appreciate all of you all for coming out and doing what you do for our local families.”
Goins also made a special announcement about one of Joplin’s MDA children, MiKayla.
“MiKayla has been out for several years and loves the Ride For Life,” said Goins. “But this year, I get to announce her as something extra special. Every year, we put together a committee and all of our MDA kiddos from all over the state of Missouri put in applications to be the state ambassador.
“It is a pretty big honor because what that means is they are the representatives and they go to all kinds of functions and events,” Goins said. The MDA ambassadors get to share their story about MDA, about things that they have done and their passion of thanking people for raising money to do things like send them to summer camp, send them to clinics and other needs.
“This year, out of our many candidates, our very own from Joplin, MiKayla was chosen as 2016 state ambassador,” Goins said.
Applause was echoed through the Hideout Harley Davidson as MiKayla came to the microphone.
“First of all, I would like to thank you all for coming out,” she said. “Thank you for coming out to camp. I love the Harleys.”
MiKayla’s mother, Teressa, was also on hand and shared her appreciation.
“We just want to thank you guys for the heart that you have and dedication to help with MDA,” Teressa said. “Thank you all for giving of your hearts, giving of your time, we have so much fun, she is a Harley rider through-and-through.”
Teressa discussed the willpower that her daughter has.
“If MiKayla can keep going, if MiKayla can keep doing it, and keep walking when her legs are tired, when her legs give up, when she is at school, and her leg braces are just not holding her up and she gets bumped in the hallway and she falls down, she gets right back up and keeps going,” she said.
“So if a kid like that can do it, then so can we,” the mother said. “Thank you for your time, thank you for today, and lets get this ride started. She is going to lead the pact, she is pretty excited about that.”
At noon on Sunday, the riders left Harley Davidson escorted by area law enforcement as they headed to Indigo Sky Casino, where food was waiting for the riders.