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Ronald McDonald House Ride raises nearly $125,000

A view of the motorcycles parked in downtown Clitherall during the 17th annual Ronald McDonald Ride. Submitted photo

In its 17th year, the Ronald McDonald House Ride brought out over 500 motorcycles from New York Mills to area stops June 9 all to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.

Greg Karvonen said he and his wife helped start the ride 17 years ago and the ride raised nearly $125,000 this year. In all it's raised close to $1.7 million.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a "home away from home" for families whose children are receiving care at any medical facility in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

More than 900 family members stay at the Houses every year. Families come from throughout North and South Dakota, Minnesota and beyond the tri-state region.

The New York Mills ride first came about as a means of supporting a fellow biker whose child was seriously ill and whose family frequently stayed at the Ronald McDonald House when the child was being treated.

On June 9, the group of bikers left New York Mills and headed to Henning where they were treated to a hot dog challenge. They were tasked with downing 1,000 hot dogs and asked for free will donations. They rose to the occasion and earned $4,000 to go towards the House. They then travelled to Clitherall where they received a $2,000 donation. The group then headed back to New York Mills for a hog roast and entertainment.

"It was an extremely successful weekend," Karvonen said.

A big draw to the ride, aside from a great cause and entertainment, were door prizes including a $25,000 motorcycle, which went to Marty Wynn of Wadena.

Next year's event is set for June 8.