Emily's Parade is ready to roll Saturday morning

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By Barbara Ford

The fourth annual Emily’s Ride will roar along U.S. 285 this Saturday from Columbine High School to Platte Canyon High School.

Sponsored by the I Love U Guys Foundation, Emily’s Parade features two events: Emily’s Ride for motorcyclists and Emily’s Run, a 5K race in Bailey.

The goal of Emily’s Parade is to raise funds and awareness for programs that support youths and keep them safe. The foundation hopes to share with everyone the message of joy, hope and compassion inspired by Emily Keyes, who was killed by a gunman at Platte Canyon High School on Sept. 27, 2006.

The I Love U Guys Foundation was named for the text message Emily sent to her parents while she was held hostage, and the message in that text underscores the foundation’s mission of love and caring.

Funds raised by this weekend’s events will help the foundation promote the establishment of a “standard response protocol” in schools — a set of standard responses to emergencies. Currently, different schools use different procedures in emergencies, which can result in confusion and delayed response time from police and firefighters.

The protocol is being implemented in Jefferson County Schools.

Registration for Emily’s Ride starts at 8 a.m. at Columbine High School. The ride starts at 11 a.m. The suggested donation is $20 per rider. Bikers will leave the high school for the ride up U.S. 285 to Platte Canyon High School in Bailey.

Registration for Emily’s Run starts at 9 a.m. The timed race, which begins and ends at Platte Canyon High School, starts at 11 a.m. The run is sponsored by the Park County Sheriff’s Office.

The suggested donation is $20 per runner. People can sponsor family and friends to run, and sponsorship forms can be found at www.ILoveUGuys.org.

John Michael Keyes, founder of the foundation and Emily’s father, says no participant should stay away if he or she can’t afford the full donation amount; any donation is welcome.

For more information on the event and to sign up for either the motorcycle ride or the 5K run, visit http://www.iloveuguys.org.