Benefit ride to raise money for grieving family

A benefit ride will take place at Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries in Albemarle Sunday to raise money for the families of two young girls involved in a serious car accident last month.

The Rocky River Roaddocs, the Ain’t Rite Riders, the Guardians, the Misfit Riders, FAFO 4×4, the Red Knights and Carolina Pheonix Riders will take part in the ride, according to a Facebook page about the event.

Registration will begin at 1 p.m. and the ride will take place at 2 p.m. Vehicles wishing to participate will be required to make a donation, though no specifics have been given, according to Johnny Helms, a member of the Ain’t Rite Riders who helped organize the event.

Helms said his group takes part in several charitable events with Hwy 55 each year, helping to raise money for individual families going through hardships along with groups such as veterans and law enforcement officers.

Proceeds from the event, including a percentage of the restaurant’s sales, will help the families of 13-year-old Kaidyn Parks and 7-year-old Elise Lowrance, who were injured in a March 24 accident along N.C. Highway 73. Lowrance died a few days later.

“We are very grateful for the groups willing to put this together and do this for our family,” said Erica Tyson, the aunt of the two girls. “The medical bills are already coming in and that’s a stressor that we don’t want added to everything else their parents have already been through.”

Tyson said Parks, who sustained major fractures and some internal injuries, is “doing well overall,” though she is still “under restrictions from an orthopedic standpoint due to the multiple fractures she had to her pelvis.”

Each day, Parks’ pain gets better, Tyson said, “and we see her spirits returning back to her normal self.”

“We take each week one day at a time,” Tyson said about how the families have been coping. “We are all still grieving the loss of Elise at this time, as to be expected, but are also rejoicing in the healing we see each day for Kaidyn.”

A GoFundMe account Tyson set up for Parks shortly after the accident has raised more than $5,500. Another GoFundMe page to help Elise’s parents has raised more than $9,000.

As of Monday morning, 50 people plan to attend the event, with another 110 listed as interested, according to the Facebook page.