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Riding for Veterans: Boots on the Ground Motorcycle Run raises money for recreational activities

Fergus Falls Daily Journal - 9/25/2018

Sept. 25--Honoring and giving back to those who have served this country, the Boots on the Ground Motorcycle Run works to help area veterans enjoy community activities.

Saturday, Sept. 22 marked the fifth annual Boots on the Ground event at the Fergus Falls Veterans Home. This year's motorcycle run brought together about 250 bikes and 400 people. Proceeds from the day of the run are given to the recreation department at the Fergus Falls Veteran's Home. Last year's proceeds added up to $33,000 and they are expecting to bring in, even more, this year.

These will be used for outings by veterans to places like the Legion, VFW, and The Big Chief Truck Stop. They also attend recreational outings to the Fargo Air Show, Redhawks games, the I-94 Speedway and more. According to the event's mission statement, "We feel that it is important for our Nation's Heroes to be able to enjoy these activities and to enjoy activities in the community." Each year, the Veterans Home hosts about 220 outings for the veterans.

Deanna Mounts, development and volunteer services coordinator at the Veterans Home reflected on the displays of patriotism during the day. " These bikes without a doubt were and are fiercely patriotic," Mounts said. "Yes, bikers with a heart for veterans. It was a day I will never forget!"

The event started with a welcoming ceremony. Jesse Nelson of Fergus Falls and Jerald Wall of Northwood, North Dakota were the featured guest speakers at the ceremony. The Veterans Choir sang and a Warbird flew over. Lawrence Cawdrew of Cawdrey Custom Designs contributed a gun cabinet for a silent auction. Guests were also able to enjoy a gun raffle and a meat raffle. Jay Ricochet and Jacked Up provided musical entertainment.

Starting their engines at noon, the motorcycle ride went around to various locations throughout the area. The ride stops included--Amor Rumors, Triple Play, Dugout, Beach Bums, Old Mill Inn, Play Time Bar and Grill, Rothsay Powerhouse, Sportsmans Bar, Otter Supper Club, VFW Pelican Rapids, Mabel Murphy's, Stalker Lake Golf Course and Bar and Grill, Underwood American Legion and Hillbillies.

Darcy Farmer, chair and founder of the event, experienced a bittersweet day. Her husband, Craig, for whom the race was created five years ago, passed away this last June. Craig was not forgotten during the event though. "It was a beautiful day and I honestly felt my husband's presences all day," Darcy said.

The greenhouse at the Veterans Home was also dedicated in Craig's memory and named "Farmer's Field." His memory was honored throughout the entire day. "He was our angel," Darcy said. "One of the things we said that we, don't fly faster than our angel can fly."


(c)2018 the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.)

Visit the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.) at www.fergusfallsjournal.com

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