Ruskin, Florida -- The 6th annual Fallen Angels Memorial Ride honored 13-year-old Sarah Lunde, who was murdered by a convicted sex offender in April 2005 near her family's mobile home in Ruskin.
The ride had about 70 motorcyclists riding throughout Hillsborough County and stopping at several places including her grave site in Ruskin and her church.
"Each year, we honor a different child who was killed in a sexual abuse crime," said the organizer, Judy Cornett.
Cornett organizes the ride and raises awareness against child sex crimes because she almost lost her son to a vicious attack.
"In 1992, my son and his friend were riding their bicycles through our neighborhood and they were kidnapped," said Cornett. "They were raped and strangled and left for dead."
Her son did not die, but their lives were changed forever.
"Today (Sunday) is very empowering to a lot of people because they get to adopt a stuffed animal in memory of a child," said Cornett.
Cornett's motorcade is called Predator Patrol and they travel to schools and communities to educate families about how to talk to your children about speaking up about bad situations and teaching children how to be safe. Her Predator Patrol group works with her other non-profit called Safety Zone Advocacy, Inc. Their mission is to provide information to families about the safety, prevention, and intervention of sex crimes.
A new rider, Rena Romano, told 10 News she is riding to also encourage victims of child abuse to speak up and share their stories like she did.
"I was molested by an older brother, half brother, for years. I was forced to do pornography, drugs, and a lot of bad things," said Romano. "I was afraid to say anything to my family."
She is not afraid anymore. She publically speaks to families about child abuse and educated children. She has also written a book called His Puppet No More. She encourages survivors of child sex abuse who are now adults to get professional counseling and encourages them to share their stories.
Proceeds from her book go to the local PACE Center for Girls and The Safety Zone Advocacy, Inc. To purchase her book: https://www.createspace.com/3449079
To donate to the non-profit: http://www.safetyzoneadvocacy.org/Donations.html