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Miracle Riders head out on the highway for 19-day charity motorcycle ride benefiting School of Nursing - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content

Miracle Riders head out on the highway for 19-day charity motorcycle ride benefiting School of Nursing

May 6, 2024

CSU clocktower

The Miracle Riders departed Frank Brown Hall on May 6 for their third fundraising motorcycle ride benefiting Columbus State University’s School of Nursing. The current 19-day ride will raise funds for a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) simulation teaching lab.

This year’s 14 riders will travel more than 8,900 miles during their 29-state road trip—making stops in 16 cities and towns that share the Columbus name with their west Georgia hometown. They will return to Uptown Columbus the evening of Friday, May 24 for a celebration and free concert on Broadway, where they will make an official check presentation of the proceeds from their ride.

The Miracle Riders’ planned NICU simulation lab will be the region’s first university-based one. Like the two previous ones funded by the Miracle Riders, the newest sim lab will provide nursing students with practical diagnostic and treatment experience on interactive HAL® simulators. The robotic mannequins feature lifelike patient movements, facial expressions and responses—from bleeding to delivering a baby.

Headshot of Scott Ressmeyer“If we can train nurses here [at Columbus State University] in a simulation lab with robotics, they’ll be more comfortable the first time they’re in a ‘real-life’ NICU caring for a live baby,” said Ride for Miracles founder and organizer Scott Ressmeyer. “These nursing students will use what they’ve learned with [robotic simulators] when caring for real people; if we can give them that confidence, they’ll provide better care to those mothers and their children.”

Ressmeyer said his first-ever visit to a neonatal intensive care unit has helped inspire his work and the focus of this year’s ride.

“I had no idea what a NICU even was,” he recalled. “[I saw] a baby that would fit in the palm of my hand, struggling just to exist. I saw the nurses’ compassion and their heart to care for something so tiny. You can’t walk out of a NICU without a tear in your eye; the caregivers there are taking care of something so precious.”

Supporters can follow the riders’ travels on their Facebook page and donate online through the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley.


This year’s ride is the third benefiting Columbus State’s School of Nursing. The riders first rode on Columbus State’s behalf in 2021, when they declared a $1 million multi-year fundraising goal to enhance the nursing education experience. Their ride through all 50 states raised more than $225,000, which they invested in a new pediatric simulation lab named in memory of Lyle Cheves Meeks—the son of Ryan and Isa Meeks and grandson of community leaders Cecil and Bettye Cheves.

Picture of a group cutting a grand-opening ribbon

In May 2023, the Miracle Riders mounted their bikes again—covering more than 11,100 miles while traveling to the four corners of the continental United States. They raised more than $240,000 for a mother-baby simulation lab they dedicated on March 2024 in honor of retired Columbus-area OB/GYN Dr. Cecil Whitaker (pictured above).


The Ride for Miracles began in 2009 when Ressmeyer set out alone on a ride through the 48 contiguous states to celebrate his 50th birthday and raise funds for the Children’s Hospital at what is now Piedmont Columbus Midtown Medical Center. An additional 29 motorcyclists joined the ride over the next six years, raising $1.2 million for the hospital’s pediatric services. 

After meeting their initial goal, the riders broadened their fundraising efforts to include other local services for children. In 2015, they established the Miracle Ride Fund in the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley and have since raised more than $1.1 million.

Since the inaugural ride in 2009, Ressmeyer and the riders have raised more than $2.3 million for services for children. The riders pay all their own expenses for each ride, which collectively has totaled more than $750,000.


Based in Columbus State University’s College of Education & Health Professions, the School of Nursing offers undergraduate- and graduate-level nursing programs, including a BSN program; an RN-BSN program with on-campus and online options; an on-campus and online MSN program with Nurse Educator, Nurse Informaticist or Nurse Leader tracks; and an FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) MSN program with both on-campus and online options.

With more than 10 faculty members, students enjoy a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students also benefit from activities hosted by the school’s National Student Nurses’ Association chapter and networking through the school’s Nursing Alumni Group.

Students interested in pursuing a nursing degree apply to the School of Nursing after completing 63 hours of the university’s core, health and STEM courses that complement the nursing plan of study. This is usually the semester before they begin their junior year. Admission also includes achieving minimum GPA requirements and successfully completing required sections of the RN Admission Evolve Reach A2 Assessment Test. Once accepted, they receive specialized advising from the school’s staff.

The School of Nursing has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and many of its programs are ranked regionally and nationally for their affordability and academic rigor.

For more information, visit

Media contacts:
Michael Tullier, APR, Executive Director of Strategic Communication + Marketing, 706.507.8729, 
Marion Scott, Miracle Riders, 

Related news coverage:
Miracle Riders are visiting cities named ‘Columbus’ to support a pediatric nursing program (May 21, 2024, The Republic, Columbus, Indiana)
Motorcycle riders visiting city as part of Columbus tours (May 20, 2024, WIN 104.9, Columbus, Indiana)
Columbus Georgia motorcycle group visits Indiana’s Columbus to raise money for kids (May 19, 2024, WVFS-FM 91.1, Columbus, Indiana)
WTVM Editorial 05/08/24: Miracle Riders Live Their Name (May 9, 2024, WTVM-TV)
“To help one child at a time:” Miracle Riders leave Columbus to raise money for NICU simulation lab (May 6, 2024, WTVM-TV)
‘We are so grateful for their support’: Miracle Riders leave for annual trip (May 6, 2024, WRBL-TV)
Video: Watch as Miracle Riders leave downtown to start 2024 ride (May 6, 2024, Ledger-Enquirer)
Miracle Riders roar into 9000-mile journey to benefit CSU nursing program and sick babies (May 6, 2024, Ledger-Enquirer)
Scott’s Miracle Riders travel the country to raise money for Columbus State University’s NICU simulation lab (May 6, 2024, WTVM-TV)
Hey America! 2024 Miracle Ride heading to a Columbus near you (April 19, 2024, Ledger-Enquirer)