2012-09-13 / News

‘Ride to Revitalize’ raises $4,600 for seniors

By Dawn Timbs
Staples World reporter

A variety of motorcycles paraded outside the Lakewood Health System Care Center in Staples Sept. 8, prior to embarking on a 110-mile benefit ride for the LHS seniors. Pictured at right, Jeanne Whitney was one of several care center residents who cheered the bikers on as she watched the parade. (Staples World photos by Dawn Timbs) Cooler temps and gusty winds didn’t stop bikers from participating in the second annual “Ride to

Revitalize” benefit event, sponsored by Lakewood

Health System.

“It was awesome,” said

Becky Ashbaugh, Director of Environmental Services at LHS and organizer of the recent event. “We took in $4,600, which we’re very excited about.”

All of the proceeds will go towards benefiting the seniors in Lakewood’s service area, Ashbaugh said. “This year, it will be used to purchase blanket warmers.”

At last year’s ride, all of the funds raised went toward the revitalization efforts at the care center in

Staples. “A lot of work has already been done (at the care center), so bikers who participated last year had the opportunity to see firsthand how their money has been used.”

Not only did they raise

$1,600 more than they did at last year’s benefit ride, but they saw an increase in participants as well, Ashbaugh shared. “Last year I think we had 53 riders who registered. It’s exciting to see how it’s grown in just one year.”

The bikers came from all over central Minnesota, riding a variety of motorcycles including Harley

Davidsons, Yamahas and

Hondas. Gregor Boreen, riding a 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glide, came all the way from New Salem,

N.D. to take part in the ride. “My sister, Chris Gnahn, works at Lakewood. I wanted to support her, plus

I love to ride.”

At least one truck was part of the ‘Ride to Revitalize’ as well. “I’m a biker wanna- be,” Ashbaugh laughed, adding that she rode behind the biker caravan in a 1970 Chevy pickup owned by John Chenoweth. “Maybe some other year I’ll ride a bike.”

The benefit ride, which started at noon at the care center, encompassed 110 miles and had stops in

Motley, Browerville and

Pillager. “We rode around the Cushing area and then stopped for supper in Pillager,” Ashbaugh said. “That was probably around

6:30 p.m., so it was definitely a full day.”

Rural Staples residents

Gary and Carmen Schimpp said they enjoyed the chance to get their Honda Valkyrie out on the road again; and they were happy to be a part of Lakewood’s fundraising efforts as well. “It’s for a good cause,” Gary said, adding that his wife’s aunt, Dolores Riegger is a resident at the care center so they have a personal connection there. “Plus, we met a lot of new people out on the ride. That’s always fun.”

Ashbaugh said again that she was thrilled to see how the benefit ride has grown since the first year. “It will be exciting to see what transpires next year.”

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