On June 13, the pair plans to join 24 other thrill-seeking philanthropists in riding Six Flags’ Mindbender for the entire day in an effort to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.
Coasterthon, as the fundraiser is known, requires each participant to raise at least $150 in order to participate in the marathon ride.
“I got involved because of my love for coasters, and I love helping out,” Richard Rock said. “Especially with the sick kids at the children’s hospital.”
Richard Rock said he attempted Coasterthon last year for the first time, but rain forced the riders off the roller coaster after 88 laps.
“It felt great,” he said of last summer’s six-hour effort. “Some riders got off early, but my body was able to endure the whole thing.”
In return for their bravery, participants will receive free admission to the park and three free meals on the day of the event from Six Flags officials.
“Part of our role in the community is to support causes like this,” said Gene Petriello, a spokesman for the park. “We’re proud to be able to work with organizations like CHOA in order to help kids in the community.”
Petriello noted riders will take a five minute break every hour and be freed from their seats for an hour-long lunch.
He said an entire car on the Mindbender’s tracks will be dedicated to the fundraiser on the day of the event.
Melody Rock, 17, will join her father next week for her first go at Coasterthon.
“I’m a little nervous, seeing as it’s my first year,” Melody said.
“At the same time, I’m really excited, because we’re raising money for a good cause and riding coasters, which I love to do.”
Melody said the Mindbender happens to be one of her favorite rides at Six Flags, and she has ridden it dozens of times in her life.
But, if all goes well Friday, she will soon shatter that record.
Brittany Wilson, a spokesperson for CHOA, said the event has raised $43,000 since its inception in 2012.
This year, she hopes Coasterthon will bring in $15,000 for CHOA.
“This year, all contributions will benefit charity care,” Wilson said. “This will help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta continue to care for all kids and families, regardless of their ability to pay.”
Wilson said the fundraiser is still accepting participants. Interested candidates should visit coasterthon.kintera.org if they wish to join.