A decade ago, Scott County residents Steve and Missy Sadler wanted to help one of their co-workers, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“We hadn’t been riding too long. We got our first Harley in 2002. We started riding with a buddy. Our first ride was We Care,” Steve Sadler said. “It was Missy’s idea to do a ride. It started out as fun and a way to raise some money.”
The Sadlers organized a motorcycle ride in honor of their co-worker, Wendy Nasby, in September 2007. The ride brought 72 motorcyclists and raised more than $4,000 for Nasby and her family. But, a few months later, Nasby lost her battle with cancer.
The couple decided to keep hosting the motorcycle ride, keeping Nasby’s memory alive by naming it in her honor — Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby.
“The Nasby family and friends are still with us today,” Steve Sadler said.
“It means more to us than anything when people pay it forward,” Missy Sadler said.
Each year, the Sadlers receive nominations from their neighbors and fellow Scott County residents on who to honor during the Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby.
“The hardest part is choosing the right people,” Missy Sadler said. “Kids overrule adults.”
Every year, the route is different — in the past, they have traveled to Salem, Borden, Henryville, Versailles in Indiana and across the river in Kentucky to Carroll and Trimble counties. The ride is not only for motorcycles. Participants can also drive in their automobiles, in side-by-sides, and other vehicles. The event is family-friendly, all riders stay together, and alcohol during the ride is prohibited.
“We don’t turn down any kind of vehicle,” Steve Sadler said. “We want as much money as possible to give to the family.”
During Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby, participants make several stops at convenience stores, and at each stop, participants draw a ribbon. The ribbons are representative in color to each honoree, showing their cancer diagnosis. Each ribbon has points associated with it, and at the end of the ride, the winner receives $100. Each winner of the $100 has donated the prize back to the families honored that year even though it is not required. After the ride, participants enjoy live entertainment, a barbecue meal, and a cash bar.
To make Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby happen each year, the Sadlers receive donations and help from the Scott County community and businesses. They do not turn any help away.
“It just shows how much love is in this,” Missy Sadler said. “The support, the love, the donations, the help — it’s overwhelming.”
“We don’t do this alone. This is a family deal. Everybody is there pulling it together,” Steve Sadler said.
The Sadlers also sell commemorative T-shirts funded through business sponsorships. Each motorcycle registered receives a T-shirt. Additional T-shirts are $10. The couple started making 75 shirts the first year. Now, they make more than 450 shirts, which sell out quickly.
“It’s not going to happen without our sponsors and our riders. You can’t thank them enough,” Steve Sadler said.
Because of the outpouring of help Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby receives each year, the fundraiser only makes money. All the money collected can go directly to the honorees that year.
“The best feeling in the world is to see that family sigh with relief. That’s my thank you,” Steve Sadler said. “We tell people to make memories with your family [with the money raised]. Make memories with your spouse. The medical bills will always be there.”
Last year alone, Ride For A Cure Inspired by Wendy Nasby had nearly 200 motorcycles and raised more than $16,000. And, it rained during the ride last year.
“People were coming and making their donations,” Steve Sadler said. “We had over $12,000 at our first stop. We didn’t realize people were still supporting us. Scott County is really good to us.”
Since the first ride, the event has grown to a year-long effort with a softball tournament, car show, golf scramble and the motorcycle ride.
“Scott County is a small community with a big heart,” Missy Sadler said.