Ole’s Ride was held Aug. 26, 2017, and raised $19,700 to benefit Hospice of the Red River Valley. In seven years, Ole’s Ride has raised $79,700 to help provide hospice care to patients and families in Vergas and the surrounding area.
The event is held in memory of Richard “Ole” Barten, who lost his battle to cancer in February 2011. Hospice of the Red River Valley cared for Ole during his last months, and the family wanted to use the event as a way to give back to an organization that cares for so many families in the area. “We cannot thank everyone enough for participating,” Kris Barten, Ole’s wife and event organizer, said. “Without every person involved, this event would not be possible.”
The event started on Friday night with a bike show where riders pre-registered. The ride kicked off from Billy’s Corner Bar and Grill in Vergas, and concluded with a silent auction and music by the Fat Cats. Prior to the start of the ride, Ole’s brother, Tom Barten, sang the national anthem. Eighty-nine registered motorcycles participated in the 140-mile ride through Minnesota lakes country. In addition, countless people took part in the various events throughout the day, either as riders, volunteers, road guards or other participants.
“It’s touching to see so many individuals and businesses come together to honor Ole’s memory, and support Hospice of the Red River Valley. We are grateful to everyone who helped make the 2017 Ole’s Ride such a success,” Curt Seter, development officer with Hospice of the Red River Valley, said.