City Council pledges support for RMH Ride
Kevin Cederstrom firstname.lastname@example.org Members of the Ronald McDonald House Benefit Ride committee wants the city's support with their annual motorcycle event. On Tuesday members of the committee approached the NY Mills City Council to request the counc...
Members of the Ronald McDonald House Benefit Ride committee wants the city's support with their annual motorcycle event. On Tuesday members of the committee approached the NY Mills City Council to request the council gives its blessing for the annual ride to be held each year the second weekend of June.
The ride, which is in its sixth year, will be held June 9 at the V.F.W. The city's number one concern is safety on Highway 10 as the motercycles cross into town from the V.F.W. when the ride leaves at noon on Saturday. Mayor Larry Hodgson and Police Chief Brian Nelson expressed their concerns with this safety issue.
Greg Karvonen, one of the ride organizers explained during the open forum at the council meeting the ride committee each year works with the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Trasportation to ensure a safe crossing of Highway 10. The State Patrol will hold up traffic and signs will be installed notifying drivers of the event. The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and NY Mills PD will also be available to assist with traffic.
Last year there were 850 bikes and approximately 1,200-1,300 people participating in the ride. The bikes leave the V.F.W. at noon on Saturday, cross Highway 10 and take Centennial/84 through town before heading out on a 105-mile ride. Each year as the procession makes it's way through Mills and the other towns along the route people line the streets and cheer as the heavy metal rumbles by.
This year's route will take the bikers through Mills, Menahga, Huntersville, Nimrod and Wolf Lake.
Other concerns brought up at the council meeting included security at the event. Bands are scheduled to play at the V.F.W. both Friday and Saturday nights.
Deputies from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office will provide some security both nights. Scott Koennicke, an OTC deputy and V.F.W. member, was at Tuesday's meeting and told the council there would be two licensed officers providing security each night in conjunction with other security at the club. The additional security will come in the form of ride committee members working in shifts. Chief Nelson said he plans on having two city squad cars on duty Friday and Saturday nights in town, which would make them available if needed at the V.F.W. as well.
Dale Frost and Conrad Mack represented the V.F.W. at the meeting and informed the council of various security measures the club plans to take to ensure there is no underage drinking and things go well over the weekend.
Karvonen and the half dozen other committee members who attended the council meeting, along with V.F.W. members wanted to meet with the council to make sure everyone was on the same page as far as schedules and any safety concerns. There have been minimal problems associated with the ride in the event's first five years of existence.
"We wanted to come here and let you know how hard we work and how proud we are of this," said Mike Ramsey, one of the ride committee members. "We work year round on this and we want to keep it going."
Last year the ride raised $82,500 for the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo.
By the end of the open forum Mayor Hodgson said every question he had for the group was answered. The council passed an official motion pledging support of the ride.
The ride started in 2002 with 150 motorcycles and has grown steadily each year.
- In 2002, 150 motorcycles, raised $3,300, 55 gallons of pop tabs
- In 2003, 250 motorcycles, raised $13,000, 120 gallons of pop tabs
- In 2004, 450 motorcyles, raised $26,000, 330 gallons of pop tabs
- In 2005, 750 motocycles, raised $63,086.65, 480 gallons of pop tabs
- In 2006, 870 motorcycles, raised $82,550, 990 gallons of pop tabs