Celebrating the 2023 Ride Season!


That’s a wrap on the 2023 Ride season!

We have officially ended the 2023 Ride season with the Death Valley event concluding on January 21st. As we reflect back on the the last year’s accomplishments, our incredible local Ride team comes to mind.

Our 2023 team consisted of 52 dedicated riders that participated in all 5 destination events and the My Ride option. Over the course of the season, we raised over $160,000, surpassing our team goal!  Many of our riders surpassed their fundraising goals, going above and beyond. Check out our top fundraisers listed below. Congrats to this great group of riders and our top fundraiser, Kent!

KSMO Top Fundraisers: 

  1. Kent Schnakenberg – $18,505
  2. Team Kuczka- $18,000
  3. Matt Wegenka – $11,582
  4. Greg Schwarz – $8,246
  5. Emily Rapp – $7,133
  6. Derek Rapp – $6,620
  7. Tanya Smith – $6,405
  8. Tommy Short – $5,373
  9. Eric Marquardt – $5,010
  10. Ethan Foss – $4,696

In addition to our amazing top fundraisers, we also want to recognize our Hy-Vee riders and new comers to the KSMO Team. We welcomed 17 new riders and 7 Hy-Vee cyclists who road with us in La Crosse, WI in August. See below a few pictures of new comers and partners at Hy-Vee!

While a lot of riders fundraise by reaching out to work connections, friends, family, and social media, some of our riders hold community events. Two of our longtime riders, Matt and Julie, put on a community Ride in Springfield, Missouri each year to raise funds for JDRF. This local event brings in cyclists and team members from surrounding areas to spend the morning riding along a well supported route through the countryside of Missouri.

Another community event put on by some of our riders is the Jean Kuczka Foundation Annual Trivia Night. Team Kuczka held their first annual trivia night in honor of their mom, Jean, who used to put on the fundraiser before she passed in 2022. In 2023 their event brought in over 300 participants and they raised over $18,000 for the JDRF Ride. Team Kuczka rode in Amelia Island, Florida as a family this past December.

We are so proud of each and every one of our Kansas and Missouri riders for the miles they rode and the dollars they raised for our mission to end type one diabetes. Congratulations to our team and we hope you can join us this season!

If you’re interested in joining our team for the 2024 season, visit ride.jdrf.org for more information about destination Rides, the My Ride, and more. If you have questions for our chapter Ride Lead, reach out to Rachael at rwernsman@jdrf.org.