Riding in her memory

By Joel Kraushaar

Amy Meyer left an indelible mark on the people of Muscatine and on me personally. She died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 40. The effervescent Iowa State University graduate came to Muscatine in 1990 to teach third grade at what is now Ss. Mary and Mathias Catholic School. It was her first job out of college. She was welcomed by a rambunctious group of third graders who would challenge her classroom management skills. How do I know this detail? I was in that particular class. I personally received a ban from Friday joke day for telling a joke that may not have been appropriate for school.

Meyer knew how to inspire people, and she built a close group of friends who continue to promote her legacy of love and caring. Meyer did more than teach; she was a writer, foster mother, sister, daughter, and philanthropist. In the sadness that followed her death, her close friends Susan Manjoine and Ann Armstrong began to organize a bike ride in Amy’s memory. In the first year, fifty friends pedaled on a fall day raising $500 for cancer charities, specifically Gilda’s Club.

The ride has grown significantly in the amount of money it has raised. Since the first ride in 2008, the committee and community have raised over $30,000 through the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride.

The 2016 Ride will be held on Saturday, September 24 and online registration closes on September 6. The ride costs five dollars to register and short and long sleeve shirts, hats, visors, and other items are available to purchase. At each stop on the route, games are played. There will be open registration the morning of the ride at Hilltop Tap at 8:30 a.m. The ride begins at 9:15 a.m. at Hilltop Tap, and from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. riders will ride to the cemetery to toast Amy at her gravesite. The route continues to the American Legion with stops at Pete’s Tap, the VFW, Bullpen, and Boonies, ending at Missipi Brew, where a grand prize is given away.

The money this ride has raised in the past nine years has helped families dealing with cancer locally. Meyer maintained her positive attitude and was a strong advocate for life with cancer. Meyer’s friends and family will continue to do what they can to assure families would feel supported through their cancer journey they way she did.