Prairie Rivers Trail Ride enters 2nd year
Event raises funds for Serving Our Servants
What started as an event to honor a young man with a rare condition has turned into an annual event that continues to honor Fort Dodgers who left this earth too soon.
The second annual Prairie Rivers Trail Ride, not stifled by the wave of cancelations that nixed most events this year during the pandemic, will honor the late Rev. Al Henderson.
Henderson’s non-profit organization, Serving Our Servants, will be the beneficiary of this year’s bicycle ride. Funds raised from bicyclists will be split between firefighters and law enforcement officers with their usual youth outreach events.
Last year’s turnout, which organizer Bruce Breeser was hoping would hit at least 25, ended up garnering 200 bicyclists. This year’s registration for the Aug. 8 event had 74 registered riders as of Monday.
“It went great, it was a huge success,” Breeser said, “which is why we decided to do it again.”
Despite initial hesitancy in planning, the socially distanced ride will go on.
“As it turned out, we’ve had a lot of support, a lot of donations,” Breeser said. “People are really responding to everything well.”
That support helping the event reach the status as an annual event amid a pandemic is “huge,” he said.
Breeser is hoping to beat last year’s inaugural fundraiser, which raised about $7,000 and provided a total of seven AED (automated external defibrillator) machines at various Fort Dodge locations focused on youth recreation in memory of Josh Doyle, who died suddenly at age 29 from a rare heart condition.
He thinks they can do even better for Henderson, a man who gave so much to his community before a senseless tragedy.
“Al Henderson did a lot for our community. A lot of people don’t know a lot of the things he’d done,” Breeser said.
By giving back to Fort Dodge youth through the firefighters and law enforcement officers Henderson supported most as a chaplain, Breeser hopes to send positive ripples through the community.
“They’re our future,” he said of the youth that will benefit from the outreach. “So if we can support that, it shows the youth our community does positive things.”
Inspired in part by the local police response to Black Lives Matter protests, Breeser said he hopes the efforts will help further bridge a community divide.
If you go:
• The Prairie Rivers Trail Ride will start in front of River Hops Brewing on Central Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
• Participants can register ahead of time online at prtbikeride.itemorder.com.
• Registration is $30 per person, which includes a free t-shirt for those who register by this Friday at 4 p.m. Meal tickets for a food truck and entertainment from the Jay Clyde Band is included with all registrations.
• This year’s ride route starts at River Hops Brewing, goes to Kennedy Park, Sports Page Bar & Grill, Rides Bar & Grill and Amigos, then returns to River Hops.
• For more information, call 515-302-8800 or 515-570-4959.
• This year, riders can pick up their ride packet on the Thursday and Friday before the ride from River Hops, to encourage social distancing the day of the ride.