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Ride for Zander Helps Families Who've Lost Babies to SIDS

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Ride for Zander Helps Families Who've Lost Babies to SIDS

By Stacy Engebretson. CREATED Jul 9, 2014
Town of Angelica, WI -- Not a day goes by that Abby and Steve Benzschawel don't think about their nephew.
 
"He was your typical, healthy, lively, smiley, beautiful little boy," said Steve.
 
But their joy turned to grief when at just 11-weeks-old, Zander died suddenly at daycare.
"It was a complete shock. Nobody saw it coming."  
 
"When a baby passes from SIDS, usually their parents haven't even paid off their birth and then to get hit with a funeral," Abby explained, "It's just a burden that they shouldn't have to bear." 
 
So Abby and Steve started the Ride for Zander.  
 
"He had this orange hair, so you'll see around the ride there's a lot of orange," Steve said.
 
The 100 mile motorcycle ride around the Shawano area raises thousands of dollars to support local families who have lost babies to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
 
"I got a phone call from one of the moms and she was just, it was just pure gratitude," explained Abby. 
 
Following the ride, there is a silent auction, raffles, food and a DJ at Jen's Knaughty Pine Bar and Grill in the Town of Angelica.
Steve says, "For it being a somber situation, we try to make it fun, lively and it's a celebration of his life."
   
A portion of the proceeds are donated in Zander's name to Boston Children's Hospital which is a leading site for SIDS research in the world. The benefit allows Zander's family to heal by helping others through tragedy.  
 
Abby says, "To be that support for someone and to know what it feels like to go through it is just really a great sense of pride and accomplishment." 

It's also a sense of comfort for Zander's family knowing they're keeping his memory alive.  

The Ride for Zander raised $11,000 in its first two years. The 3rd annual event is set for Saturday, August 9th. Registration is 10:00-11:30am. The ride leaves at noon from Jen's Kanughty Pine at W1539 County Highway S in the Town of Angelica. Cars are welcome too. The cost is $10 per bike.

Click here to see the Ride for Zander Facebook page.

Organizers are in need of donations for the silent auction portion of the benefit. If you would like to help, send your donation to: 

Abby Benzschawel

832 Ash Street

Green Bay, WI 54313

Click here for more infromation on SIDS.