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Wagon Wheel Bar Bike Rally - 2009

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It just keeps growing. This year the Wagon Wheel Bar Fifth Annual Bike Rally raised over $1,000 more than last year for Montana HOPE Project.            

On Thursday, Sept. 3, the rally committee presented Montana Highway Patrolman Mitch Willett with a check for $3,288.20.              

“This is just awesome,” said Willett. “For a community of this size to raise this much money is really something.             

“There are fund-raisers for Montana HOPE Project all over the state, but this one just astounds me.”    

His words of praise for the committee  who donated countless hours to put the rally together were gratefully received.            

Several new events were added this year. Greenscreen, a process where people could have their pictures put on magazine covers or one of more than 1,000 templates, drew a lot of interest. Because of the success of this event, the committee felt this will be offered in future years.              

Ron and Margaret Kemp oversaw a successful  car and bike show, which drew 18 entries. Cash prizes were awarded to entrants in the show, as well as in all other events and contests in the rally. Next year, the hours for the show will be extended to hopefully make it bigger and better.             

The evening events were all well received, with the blind auction bringing in approximately $1,800.        

Priority Communications once again worked with the rally committee to offer a Motobravo 4-wheeler as the grand prize in a raffle. The machine was won by Norm Braaten of Fort Peck. Braaten is the history teacher at Nashua High School.              

Patches and T-shirts commemorating the Fifth Annual Bike Rally and the 25th anniversary of Montana HOPE Project are still available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale of these items will be added to next year’s donation.              

Started in 1984 by the Association of Montana Troopers (formally the Association of Montana Highway Patrolmen), the Montana HOPE Project helps make dreams for critically ill children come true. The project is not funded by any government entities and does not receive any tax monies. Fund-raisers, corporate donors, donations and memorials are the sole source of funds. Neither is the HOPE Project a part of any national wish-granting association.              

On an average, wishes granted cost $6,000 per wish. The wishes range from seeing favorite sports teams, movie stars, computers, and trips. The most popular trip is to Walt Disney World. When a child’s wish is a trip, the child is accompanied by their immediate family.              

The Wagon Wheel Bar Project HOPE Bike Rally is traditionally held one week after motorcyclists gather in Sturgis, N.D.            

Committee members are already talking about next year’s rally, set for Aug. 19-21.Under discussion is how to make this three-day event into one that there is somethng for everyone from adults to children. Along that line, events especially for families are already being planned.              

It is the committee’s hope that this rally will continue to grow, thus making it possible to write bigger and bigger checks to the Montana HOPE Project and help an organization that has given so freely to so many children. Several children from this area have had wishes granted by the project.              

Those on the head committee -- Rick Ost, Carl Laumeyer, Greg Speer, Ron Kemp, Margaret Kemp, and Patti Sibley, along with others who contributed a large amount of time -- Justine Laumeyer, Ron and Traci Ost, Steve Dowell, Rose Speer, and Megan Bechel -- wish to extend their deepest appreciation to the individuals and merchants who contributed to the rally. And most especially to the people who participated in the events and attended the rally.

A special note of interest -- this year’s rally had people from as far away as South Africa in attendance.

It takes hours of planning and working to put together an event of this magnitude. Anyone who wishes to volunteer even a few hours to assist the committee with future rallies will be warmly welcomed. If you wish to help with this most worthwhile cause, contact Rick Ost at 406-746-3239.              

Whenever a wish is granted to a child, that child’s smile is all the reward needed by the people who, through their hard work and commitment, helped make a dream come true.