Le Bonheur Children's Hospital "Lucy 115" Bike Ride Fundraiser Remembers & Restores
Published on: March 29, 2019
The third-annual “Lucy 115” Ride for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital will take place on April 27, 2019, guiding cyclists on a 115-mile journey from Nashville to Sewanee, Tennessee in memory of Lucy Williford, daughter of Memphians Leah and Judson Williford, who unexpectedly died on March 4, 2017 at ten months of age.
Judson Williford’s fellow Sewanee graduates began a route from Nashville to their alma mater six years ago and sought a tradition to continue year after year.
“Our goal was to eventually make this recreational challenge a community fundraiser,” said Williford, a senior vice president at Financial Federal Bank. “Tragically, the cause has presented itself, though we are grateful to have the opportunity to gather our friends, family and larger community of support to remember Lucy and, in return, give back to LeBonheur.”
Williford and his wife Leah renamed the annual route the “Lucy 115” in memory of their daughter and donate all funds to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. The couple has pledged to raise $100,000 over 5 years to allocate toward The Le Bonheur Green, an outdoor art installation and play space that will welcome patients and their families while at the hospital with access to the therapeutic and restorative properties of the outdoors.
“When children can experience the sights and sounds of nature, they are reminded of their normal life outside the hospital,” said Leah Williford. “The Le Bonheur Green is an extension of the healing that happens in the hospital daily—it will be a space for children and families to be renewed, and a place where they can gather to relax, share life, and escape the emotional challenges of hospitalization.”
“Our hope is that we can honor Lucy by creating this space at Le Bonheur where children are comfortable and families feel confident in the care their loved ones will receive,” said Judson Williford.
Many of Williford’s Financial Federal Bank customers have stepped forward to volunteer, participate in and support the “Lucy 115,” including Victory Bicycle Studio owner Clark Butcher, who has trained and equipped riders with appropriate equipment, and Archer Malmo’s Emily Long, who has led the branding and fundraising materials for the ride.
“Clark and Emily’s skillsets have been invaluable, and even some of my banking customers have committed as first-time riders this year,” said Williford. “We’re grateful for and overwhelmed by the support.”
The first official “Lucy 115” ride in 2017 raised close to $25,000, and 2018 brought $33,000 to fruition. The 2019 fundraising goal is $30,000. Riders are requested to donate $1 per mile (115 miles) to participate, though donors across the Memphis community are invited to support the Lucy 115 online with any dollar amount.