While there may be no official All Ohio Bike Fest this year, a number of community groups aren't letting that stop them.

While there may be no official All Ohio Bike Fest this year, a number of community groups aren't letting that stop them.

Both two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles will take to the backroads in Union County this summer to raise money for a variety of charities.

The annual Ride for Kids, a national fundraiser that benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF), gets the summer started July 23.

The nonprofit charitable organization raises funds for researchers to develop new therapies that extend the lives of children with brain tumors. The PBTF also offers family support services and awards scholarships to brain tumor survivors at post-secondary institutions. Since its creation in 1984, the Ride for Kids has generated more than $40-million for the PBTF.

Task force members have been preparing for the event since earlier this spring. While last year's ride generated about $70,000 for the PBTF, task force co-leader Ken Denman has said that organizers this year are aiming between $74,000 and $100,000.

This year's Marysville Ride for Kids takes place July 23, rain or shine. Registration is $35 and begins at 8 a.m., at the Scotts Miracle-Gro headquarters, 14111 Scottslawn Road, Marysville. The ride will end with a celebration of life program, where riders will meet local children who benefit from the program, and awards will be given to the top fundraisers. Riders will also be entered in a raffle for a new Honda motorcycle. Fundraisers are also planning to ask motorists for donations on the two Saturdays prior to the ride, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in uptown Marysville.

While previous years' Bike Fest included a fundraiser for the Union County Sheriff's office canine division, organizers at the sheriff's office are continuing the trend. All vehicles are welcome in the Family Fun Ride, which takes place immediately after the Ride for Kids.

"Anything that's street legal we're encouraging families, especially folks with children, to take part in this event," said deputy Kim Zacharias. "There will be eight stops along the ride at different family farms, and at each stop there will be games for the kids."

Registration for the Family Fun Ride begins at noon on July 23; the $10 tickets can be purchased at the sheriff's office, 221 W. Fifth St., Marysville, or at Parrott Implement Co., 396 E. Blagrove St., Richwood. A hog roast will take place at the end of the ride, at the Richwood fairgrounds. A raffle drawing will take place at 4:30 first prize is a John Deere CX Gator; second prize is a John Deere 3,000 PSI power washer, and third prize is a John Deere pedal tractor.

"Just like anything in this economy, it can be hard to finance special bureaus," Zacharias said. "The proceeds from this ride will go toward paying for doctor visits, food, and basically whatever we need for our two canines, Idor and Aki."

Zacharias said deputies and their service dogs will be at the Richwood fairgrounds to give demonstrations at the end of the ride.

On the southern side of the county, C&A Harley-Davidson in Plain City will be hosting its own poker run, which will also benefit the PBTF. Program manager Melissa Burkitt said that registration for the July 21 poker run will begin at 5 p.m. at C&A, 7610 Commerce Place, Plain City, with the last bike pulling out at 7 p.m. Burkitt said the dealership expects to have a good crowd for the benefit 114 riders helped out in last year's fundraiser.

C&A will host several events as the summer progresses. The dealership will celebrate its 24th Anniversary Bash August 13-14, which will include Harley-Davidson's demonstration team, tattoo artists, food and product vendors, a poker run and prize giveaways. In September, C&A will participate in the county's Covered Bridge Festival with a riding tour of the historic structures.

Honda Marysville Motorsports will host a new event this year, the Festival in the Field, which also takes place on July 23. At 9 a.m., Honda Marysville and Honda Motorsports will host a breakfast, with a motorcycle ride from the dealerships to Lima Harley-Davidson and Lima Ford beginning at noon, continuing to 6:30 p.m. At 6 p.m. the Jacked Up Band will perform at Honda Marysville Motorsports, followed by The Reaganomics at 9 p.m. The day's festivities will also include food and motorcycle vendors on site, with proceeds from the event to benefit Impact 60, a non-profit that provides education on the dangers of drug abuse to young people. More information on the event can be found online at www.festivalinthefield.com.