Wendy Reuer, Published May 31 2012
Motorcycles to roll for Nokomis kids’ benefitFARGO – When Caileen Heuertz heard that Nokomis Child Care Centers was having trouble gathering $40,000 needed for yearly operating expenses, she decided she needed to help.
Her own daughter was on a waiting list for the Nokomis II Center, and she was told that center may be the first to lose programming if funding continued downhill.
Heuertz and her fiancé enjoy riding motorcycles, so she approached the FM Crusaders about hosting a motorcycle ride.
“They told me, ‘You found the bikers’ kryptonite,’ ” Heuertz said.
Bob “Thumper” Gregor with the FM Crusaders said it didn’t take much sweet-talking for the metro motorcycle club to decide it wanted to get involved.
“That’s what we do,” he said.
And so the 2011 Big Bikes and Little Tykes motorcycle ride, auction and day of fun raked in nearly $20,000 and set off what Heuertz hopes to be the first of many annual fundraisers for the Nokomis Child Care Centers.
“Bikers are probably the most amazing people you’ll meet in your life. If they have a dollar and you need $10, they’ll find a way to get you $10,” Heuertz said.
This year, the event will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at The Venue at The Hub in Fargo with inflatables for the kids and a chance to win one of 25 bicycles.
After breakfast and live and silent auctions, the big guys can battle it out with the little ones in tricycle races between bikers and kids.
A Harley-Davidson Exhibit and custom bike builder Donnie Smith will also be at the event.
At noon, the motorcycle run will begin, ending around 5:30 p.m. when dinner is served and a trio of bands begins: Blind Joe, Tripwire and 32 Below.
Raffle items include an all-expenses paid trip to Sturgis, S.D., and a riding lawnmower, Heuertz said the centerpiece of this year’s auction is probably a custom-made North Dakota State University Bison Football Championship clock.
The 24-inch clock was made by Indigo Signs and is signed by the members of the 2011-12 champion team.
Only a week after the clock was signed by players, NDSU changed its policy and will no longer allow players to sign outside items, Heuertz said.
“This is a really once-in-a-lifetime deal,” she said. “It’s an amazing piece of memorabilia, for sure.”
Heuertz said while last year’s run gathered more than 100 riders; she is hoping to see about 300 on Saturday.
“That would be nice to have 300 bikes,” Gregor said.
The organizers hope to raise $40,000 for Nokomis.
Heuertz said the Big Bikes and Little Tykes event is the only one that solely raises money for the organization.
Nokomis Child Care Centers operate through The Village of Fargo Moorhead to provide child care for an income-based fee. They give priority to children of families with financial difficulties, children at risk of abuse or neglect and children with emotional and behavioral problems.
If you go
What: Big Bikes and Little Tykes Event
Where: Morning and evening events will be held at The Venue at The Hub, 2525 9th Ave. S., Fargo
Info: Proceeds from the event benefit the Nokomis Child Care Centers of The Village
How to help: Attend the event, visit the website or buy items in the auctions and raffles
Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530
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