Nancy Edmonds Hanson
It was a perfect day for a ride. When more than 100 motorcycles and almost two dozen classic cars pulled back into the American Legion parking lot Saturday afternoon, organizer Tom Krabbenhoft could breathe a sigh of relief: The first annual FM Legion Riders Motorcycle/Classic Car Run had ticked off every goal on his list.
First of all, it was fun. On a beautiful August Saturday, riders from all over the region gathered to cruise the 100-mile circuit staked out from Moorhead to Georgetown, Perley, Ada, Felton and Barnesville. “We had riders from Fargo and Moorhead, of course, but others from Alexandria, Grand Forks, Jamestown … we were really flattered by the number of people who came to take part,” Krabbenhoft says.
Second, the ride raised a substantial amount of money for causes he and other Legion members care about. Heading the list was Honor Flight. “We love it,” he notes. But two far less well-known causes also generated both awareness and support – the third goal of the ride.
One is the Brady Oberg Foundation, established by Russ and Charlene Oberg in memory of their son. “After serving a tour in Afghanistan, he tragically took his own life,” Tom says. His family established the foundation to help other struggling veterans, young and old.
The other is PADS, Patriot Assistance Dogs, a nonprofit started in Detroit Lakes in 2011 by Drew Nathan. The organization trains rescue dogs to be service animals for vets with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other psychiatric issues.
After lunch in Ada, the caravan of riders and drivers was escorted by the local police chief on an informal parade past long-term care facilities and group homes. “Valley Vintage Car Club has been doing this since last winter,” he noted. “We just joined up to make it bigger and better. You could see the people smiling behind their masks.”
For an event that came together in just three weeks, Krabbenhoft says he’s “absolutely speechless about the success.” Next year, he promises, the Legion Riders will do it again with their partners in the car club – even bigger and better.
“We can do great things together,” he predicts. “Motorcycles and classic cars – they’re two things that really scream ‘American’!”
Legion Post 21 hosts a second classic car event Saturday, Aug. 8 – its annual classic car show, featuring classics, muscle cars, street rods and customs – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.