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Ride raises 13K for Fort Dodge athletics

Fundraiser honors the late Steve Springer

-Messenger photo by Michaela Frerichs
The Prairie River Trail Ride Committee presented a check to Fort Dodge Athletics Wednesday evening for improvements to the Dodger Stadium concession stand in honor of the late Steve Springer, who was a devoted member of the Fort Dodge Athletic Booster Club. Pictured from left are Ruth Yoder, Carol Breeser, Bruce Breeser, Randy Kuhlman, Ryan O’Leary, Juli Springer, Josh Porter, and Racquel Benegas.

The Prairie Rivers Trail Ride committee presented Fort Dodge Community Schools Athletics with a $13,000 check Wednesday evening for future improvements to the Dodger Stadium concession stand.

The donated funds came from the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride held on Aug. 14.

The ride committee includes Bruce and Carol Breeser, Racquel Benegas, Tim and Susan Doyle, and Ron Grebner.

The trail ride drew more than 150 cyclists with the plan for the proceeds to honor the late Steve Springer. Springer, a 1979 graduate of St. Edmond High School, passed away in June of 2020 after a battle with esophageal cancer. Springer had been a devoted member of the Fort Dodge Athletic Booster Club and the district’s Board of Education.

“He did a lot for this community,” Bruce Breeser said before the trail ride. “In Dodger Stadium, he worked in the concession stand. He was always there for every event, whether it was a Gaels, a Dodger, a Triton game, no matter what it was, he was there.”

-Photo by Justin Rogers Photography
This is an aerial shot of Dodger Stadium in July of 2021 with the new turf. A trail bike event raised funds for future improvements to the stadium concession stand.

Juli Springer, Steve Springer’s wife, said she and her family were honored that the trail ride chose to honor her husband.

“There’s so many great people in Fort Dodge and the area that all have a story,” she said.

Juli Springer said she is excited that she and her family had the opportunity to be involved in deciding what the funds should be used for based on what Steve Springer was passionate about.

“Steve spent years and years and years running and organizing and doing everything for the concession stand and it was important to him,” she said.

Springer said the concession stand at Dodger Stadium holds value to the community as well as happy memories for her family.

“I liked picking it because it affects so many schools and it shares the wealth since so many people use it and my boys all have such good memories of Steve being there and growing up there,” she said.

Fort Dodge High School Activities Director Josh Porter and Assistant Activities Director Ryan O’Leary accepted the donation on behalf of Fort Dodge Community School District. Porter said they are very thankful for the donation.

“This is what allows us to do some cool and creative things and to make sure we stay up to date,” Porter said.

A detailed plan for the concession stand has not been made yet, but Porter said they plan to work with the Springer family to decide how best to honor Steve Springer’s memory.

“We know that there are some needs at the stadium and we will figure out what those all are. We will work with the Springer family because that’s important to us,” Porter said, “There’s no better family that loves Fort Dodge athletics and activities. We’re excited to support and work with them to do whatever we can.”

Juli Springer and Porter both agreed Dodger Stadium serves a large portion of the community and these improvements will benefit many schools.

“It’s going to give back to kids and the community for a really long time and that’s the purpose of it,” said Porter.

Bruce Breeser said they plan to hold their fourth trail ride next year and hope it can be even bigger.

“The person or organization that gets our donations will change every year,” he said.” The motto that we go by is ‘Giving back and honoring our community one bike ride at a time’.”

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