ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 21, 2010, Ed Smart and Ahmad Rivazfar, both parents of child abduction and abuse victims, will travel across the country by bicycle seeking to raise awareness and funding for the "Surviving Parents Coalition" (SPC) child advocacy initiatives. The pair will join other volunteer cyclists on a 3,500-mile journey through 26 cities, from Rochester, N.Y. to Los Angeles, Calif. The awareness campaign, "Ride for Their Lives," seeks to increase public knowledge and raise $1,000,000 to help advocate for laws that protect children and fight to eradicate predatory crimes nationwide.
The purpose of this month-long journey, expected to culminate on September 22, 2010, is to focus on four main legislative issues surrounding child abuse and abduction cases:
1. DNA Collection on Felony Arrest - to lobby for DNA collection on felony arrest, not just on felony conviction. Currently, 23 states have passed some form of DNA on felony arrest legislation, but there are 27 states that should follow suit. http://www.dnasaves.org.
2. Protect our Children Act of 2008 - a law that gives more resources to the investigation and interdiction of child exploitation cases.
3. The Adam Walsh Act - the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act set minimum standards for a national sex offender's registration and notification system.
4. It takes a Community; "Not ONE More Child" - a Child Safety Education Initiative that educates and empowers children to recognize, avoid, resist, and escape dangerous situations and violence including bullying, assault, abuse and abduction.
Ahmad Rivazfar, founder of "Ride for Their Lives," is a Rochester native and the father of six children. In 1988, two of his daughters, ages 8 and 6, were abducted, raped and left to die in the woods - 8-year-old, Sayeh, survived; Sara, age 6, did not. Rivazfar is now an active volunteer leader in his community and in the cause for protecting and recovering children from abduction and abuse.
Ed Smart, co-rider, is a nationally renowned spokesperson for child protection, advocating for legislation and non-profit organizations that focus on the prevention and recovery of missing children. In 2002, his daughter, Elizabeth, age 14, was kidnapped and found alive nine months later. Ed Smart has served on the board of several non-profit agencies including the "National Child ID Program," "Radkids," and the "I Keep Safe Program." He has been featured on numerous programs, including "Dateline" and "The Early Show."
A kick-off ceremony is planned for Friday, August 20 at Frontier Field, Rochester, N.Y. Members of the Surviving Parents Coalition will travel across the country to attend the opening ceremonies which will include entertainment, children ID kits, kids' activities, fireworks and much more.
Sponsors of "Ride for Their Lives" include Limited Brands, Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport, Beau Productions, Brabon Justice International, LLC and Dixon Schwabl.
For more information about "Ride for Their Lives" and the Surviving Parents Coalition, visit http://www.RideforTheirLives.com.
The Surviving Parents Coalition is a parent-driven, 501(c)(4) organization committed to saving lives. The coalition's founding demonstrates the power of survival and how suffering can motivate people to accomplish extraordinary things. SPC lobbies for funding and legislation because they are essential to effective change. Its goal is to ensure young people mature naturally without abuse and emotional turmoil. The SPC is determined to grow and spread out nationally one family at a time.
Kathy Phelps, Dixon Schwabl
SOURCE Ride for Their Lives