Riding for charity

Community members will gather for a motorcycle, classic car and auto ride around Hamilton County Saturday for a Special Olympics benefit ride.

The ride begins at 10 a.m. at The Moose in Webster City, with signup ongoing until 11 a.m. For a cost of $15, participants will get a map of seven places to visit around the county. Participants will go to Clarion, Alden, Eagle Grove, Duncombe, Stratford, and Dayton for the fundraiser.

At those locations, riders will get their map signed and must turn it in at Pickles bark and Grill in Kamrar by 5 p.m. There are prizes for the participants, and the public is invited to Pickles to enjoy the after-ride event which includes raffle prizes.

Organizer LuAnn Jackson, who has helped put together the benefit ride for five years, said the money raised during this event will go on to help fund the Special Olympics games in Ames. The games are held in May. Jackson has also helped with the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the games themselves, and said the results of her efforts are worth it.

“All you have to do is see some of these people, whether it’s kids or adults, and the challenges they go through to do it,” Jackson said. “If it doesn’t catch your heart to see what they work at to get where they are, you don’t have a part.”

While the fundraiser is going toward a good cause, Jackson said getting out, riding and seeing places around Hamilton County is a draw for participants.

“It’s just being a part of it,” Jackson said.

The stops along the route are altered every year, with some locations added and dropped based on feedback from participants.

Jackson said that the ride is not just for people on bikes. The ride is open for participants with any vehicle. She said participants have brought classic cars to ride the route on in past years. Some participants simply gather a group and go on the ride in their family vehicle.

The gathering at Pickles at 5 p.m. is also open to those who do not participate in the ride itself. The public is invited to come for dinner and participate in several dollar raffles and larger raffles. Several athletes will also be in attendance to help draw the winning raffle tickets.