Sheriffs use motorcycles to raise funds

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 21, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

Seven county sheriffs will take their posses and their motorcycles on a over 225-mile ride over their seven counties Sunday as part of the second annual Sheriffs’ Posse Motorcycle Ride, a fundraiser benefiting the American Red Cross.

When Sheriff Mark Harig realized some of the neighboring county sheriffs had motorcycles too, he decided a charity event would be a good idea.

&8220;I suggested we could have a fundraiser for the Red Cross because we’re calling them out all the time to fires, floods, damage assessments and all the things they do for us,&8221; Harig said.

Sheriffs Gary Ringhofer, Gary Thompson, Richard Cook, Brad Peterson, Tim Dann and Dave Lange will also participate in the event.

The first Posse Ride spanned six counties and netted the Red Cross nearly $6,000 in fees and donations last year. This year, anyone with a motorcycle is invited to pay the $10 entry fee to ride with the sheriffs and be a part of the posse.

Riders can purchase Posse Ride pins for $5 or T-shirts for $10, and those profits go to the Red Cross as well. Collectible sheriff cards will be given out at most of the locations, so if people head to every stop on the ride they’ll get a card for six of the seven sheriffs involved.

Though last year’s posse ride didn’t reach its goal of 1,000 riders, it did get about 800 people out for the event. This year the ride will begin in seven locations &045; one for each county &045; and end at the Steele County Fairgrounds in Owatonna, where lunch will be served by Red Cross chapters.

There will also be a group photo and door prizes as well as live music and an annual charity shave and haircut by Austin resident R. J. Bergstrom.

For more information and to pre-register, go to www.sheriffsposseride.com.

It is an election year for Harig. He faces retired Albert Lea police officer Bill Villarreal on the November ballot.