The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

January 2, 2013

Polar Bear Ride helps families in need

— LEWISBURG — Six-year-old Ryan Gordon clutched a stuffed polar bear as his parents accepted more than $800 in cash, food and gift cards from members of the Lord’s Disciples Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association on Tuesday morning.

“Thank you,” Ryan said in a small voice to the more than 40 motorcyclists who attended the breakfast event at the Country Cupboard.

Lord’s Disciples members have been holding an annual Polar Bear Ride and helping families get the new year off to a good start for the past 16 years.

Every year, the riders select a local family in need and hold a breakfast in their honor on Jan. 1 and hand out cash and other donations.

This year, the Peter and Lisa Gordon family, of Stonington, was chosen. The Gordons were already raising two daughters, Kayla, 16, and Tiffany, 13, when they adopted 18-month-old Ryan, a frail child born with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease.

Now 6, Ryan, must endure daily 90-minute breathing treatments and is tube-fed while attending school.

Despite his difficulties, Lisa Gordon said, the boy remains upbeat.

“His personality is so cute, so sweet. He’s made me appreciate life and my family a lot more,” she said.

Lenora Springfield, a past president of the Lord’s Disciples, recommended the Gordons after meeting them when they purchased her old kitchen cabinets.

“Ryan stole my heart the first time I laid eyes on him,” Springfield said.

Meeting Ryan for the first time at the breakfast, new chapter president Jason Bower, of Northumberland, said he’s pleased to be a part of a group that’s willing to reach out to others.

“It’s just a blessing that we have the opportunity to do this every year,” he said.

Since 1998, the chapter has donated more than $10,000 to families, including a Milton woman battling cancer, a Mifflinburg family without insurance, a Williamsport woman with leukemia, and the family of a chapter member who died of complications from diabetes.

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