Again and again: Fundraisers to ride roller coaster all day long
by Sarah Westwood
June 09, 2014 04:00 AM | 5488 views | 5 5 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Melody Rock and her father, Richard Rock, stand in front of the Mindbender roller coaster at Six Flags over Georgia. The pair will try to ride the coaster for seven hours Friday to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.<br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Melody Rock and her father, Richard Rock, stand in front of the Mindbender roller coaster at Six Flags over Georgia. The pair will try to ride the coaster for seven hours Friday to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
MARIETTA — Richard Rock and his daughter, Melody, plan to raise money for their favorite charity by riding one of their favorite roller coasters — for seven straight hours.

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 if they wish to join.

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Dwayne Kilbourne
June 10, 2014
This event is amazing, and I cannot think of two better representatives for this event. As a friend, I know that Richard and Melody take great pride and pleasure in giving back in whatever ways possible. As a fellow rider, I can say that this event is for a magnificently wonderful cause! Thanks to MDJ for taking time out of all of the other great new stories to cover Richard, Melody, and their great fundraising endeavors on behalf of the CHOA and the Coasterthon!
Michelle Daniels
June 09, 2014
Thank you for covering this event and featuring these two amazing individuals. Richard Rock is an incredible philanthropist who gives to CHOA year round. He's a great role model for giving back to the community and I'm proud to support his efforts.
Brad Mahan
June 09, 2014
As of only 2 riders that have stayed with this event for all three years, I am so happy that you are covering the event this year.

The other rider that has done the event all three years is Courtney Marcum of Smyna.

This is a great event and I would love to see us raise more money than last year. Check out the event and pick a person to donate, so we can raise more money for sick kids.

As for me I came in 2nd the 1st year, I won last year, by raising the most money. My team has 6 riders this year including my daughter making her second year ride, Delaney Mahan. My team is Bparcs (Best Park and Roller Coaster Seeker).

It's easy to donate , from the main screen you will see the top 5 under that you will see a search button. You can do a search by 1st name just by using 1 letter. Type A and all the riders that have a 1st name that starts with " A " will show.

I hope many of you will help us by donating to one or more of us.

Thank you

Brad Mahan

Owner of

Best Park and Roller Coaster Seeker ,

Renee Karekel
June 09, 2014
Isn't it wonderful when we can step back and let someone else enjoy some recognition for their hard work and dedication to this amazing fundraiser. It's truly not about who raised the most or who has been involved the longest, it's All about the children and the beautiful people involved in their care. One almost has to wonder where this person's priorities lay?
June 09, 2014
The point of this event is to raise as much money for Children's which is what we all do. I simply posted a plea for everyone to donate to a rider and how to search for one. So I don't see why that was posted as a reply and being negitive to anyone. I chose to support Children's and want the best donation total we can get for the event.
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