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Dreams for Kids ride is just around the bend

FOCUS file photo Nathan Johnson, left, was a recent wish recipient who benefited from the Dreams for Kids Ride. He got a family tractor fixed, as well as a laptop and other gadgets at a party at his family’s farm. With him is Wanda Smith, who organizes the annual Dreams for Kids event.

The ninth annual Dreams for Kids Bike Run might have a new location this year, but its mission is still the same: raise funds to grant wishes to sick children throughout the Perham area.

In past years, Dreams for Kids, the local Make-A-Wish Minnesota affiliate, held its bike runs in Perham. This year, the event will shift to New York Mills.

Rain or shine, motorcycles will gather at the New York Mills VFW Post 3289 on Saturday, July 26.

The night before the ride, on Friday, Willy and the Poorboys will perform on the VFW’s outdoor stage from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Overnight camping will be available on site, but is not included in the ride registration.

A free-will donation breakfast will start off Saturday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. at the VFW. Ride registration will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 11:30 a.m. Registration covers the ride, dinner and evening entertainment for $20. Riders will leave at noon.

From New York Mills, the first stop will be at Rumors in Amor, then on to Skal Bar and Grill in Vergas and then to Toad Lake Store before returning to New York Mills for supper at 5p.m.

Along with the meal, there will be silent auction items and raffles, said event organizer Wanda Smith. Some silent auction items include a chest freezer, an above-ground swimming pool, a utility cart and half of a hog. Raffle prizes include a 50cc Yamaha scooter, a freezer, a picnic table with a patio grill and various gift certificates to local businesses.

Ruth Hobbs, a 6-year-old girl from New York Mills who has been battling leukemia and whose wish will be granted soon, will likely attend the event, along with some other past recipients, said Smith. They will share their stories during the dinner and drawing.

The band FUSE will perform from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. to close out the event.

Last year, about 165 riders helped raise enough money to cover four wishes for sick children in the area. All sorts of motorcycles are welcome to participate, along with pedal bikes and classic cars.

Last year, Smith said, some past recipients rode their bicycles part of the way, and then rode in the cars when too tired.

“Everything we raise here stays here,” said Smith, adding that the hope is to continue their trend and raise enough to grant four more wishes this year.