"Ride For Their Lives" Tour Makes Salina Stop
Todd Pittenger - Sun 01:34 PM 09/05/2010
(from left) Kansas Attorney General Steve Six talks with Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart who was abducted in Utah in 2002, and Ahmad Rivazfar, the father of Sayeh and Sara who were abducted in Florida in 1988.
A cross-country bicycle tour with a mission of raising awareness about child predators, and safety, stopped in Salina on Saturday.
Kansas Attorney General Steve Six welcomed the "Ride for their Lives" tour.
The "Ride for their Lives" is a cross-country bicycle ride by Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart who was abducted in Utah in 2002, and Ahmad Rivazfar, the father of Sayeh and Sara who were abducted in Florida in 1988. Sayeh survived, but Sara did not.
Mark Lunsford is riding along on a motorcycle. His 9-year-old daughter Jessica was kidnapped, raped, and murdered, in Florida in 2005. Following her death, her father, Mark Lunsford, pursued new legislation to provide more stringent tracking of released sex offenders . The Jessica Lunsford Act was named after her. It requires tighter restrictions on sex offenders, such as wearing electronic tracking devices, and increased prison sentences for some convicted sex offenders. Jessica's Law refers to similar reform acts initiated by other states, including.
Along with Attorney General Six, all three riders spoke. Each spoke about the cases involving their children. Each had a message of becoming more involved in the lives of children, and being an advocate.
All three are member of the Surviving Parents Coalition. The group is made up of parents of children who were abducted, sexually assaulted, murdered, recovered or are still missing. Through legislative efforts they hope to significantly improve public awareness about prevention as well as legislative progress, facilitate hands-on safety education in schools for children through young adults and promote best practices for law enforcement and communities in responding to predatory crimes.
One of the main goals of the group is to advocate for a national DNA data base of all criminals convicted of a felony crime.
Salina was the 13th of 25 stops planned on the ride, which started in Rochester, N.Y., on Aug. 20. It will culminate in Los Angeles on Sept. 22.