Year eight and riding hard
They say that the number eight is the number of new beginnings. The group of over 100 bikers raising money and awareness for five different causes on July 9 were a part of the annual Ride For Hope.
Some new beginnings can be painful. In the case of Dale Fisher who lost his wife, Kim, this past April, he rode for the first time in this event without her. “Kim was one of the ones who was responsible for a lot of the organization and putting things together” Said Ride For Hope rider, Lori Wagner. “It wasn’t the same without her and Dale had a rough ride that day.”
As bikers gathered at the Owatonna Eagles Club, it was as if Kim was orchestrating the weather from a distance. For the first time in years, the group experienced near-perfect weather.
The organization chooses five charities each year that they would like to help with awareness and with financial giftings, and this year the organizations were, The Chrohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Eagles Cancer Telethon, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center – U of Iowa, Open Arms Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program in Owatonna, and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Owatonna.
Out of the five organizations, each biker can choose which of the five organizations they want to put their funding towards. It represents a collaboration and a variety of options for awareness and garners the idea that many organizations need help and each year there is a new list.
After rallying in Owatonna, the group said a prayer and held a moment of silence for Kim before departing on their journey as Samaritans with many causes.
The 170 mile trip began and ended at the Eagles Club in Owatonna. Scheduled Stops in between came at The Eagles Nest bar in Eagle Lake, The Great Escape at Minnesota Lake where the group stopped for lunch sponsored by the Owatonna Eagles Club and Club 69 in Twin Lakes. The group then arrived back into Owatonna at around 3:30 where they enjoyed a taco supper.
The highlight of the day was an unscheduled stop in Mankato to the Michigan National Guard headquarters where they were present at the deployment of over 100 US troops heading from Minnesota to Israel. The bikers were invited into the gym by the Army Captain for the event and stayed for about 30 minutes before giving them a heroes send off.
“The day was amazing.” Said Wagner who was riding with her husband, Bill. “It made me want to ride in more of these and it sounds funny, but I really felt like I made a difference in the lives of others on that day.”