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Bicycle ride supports Fort Dodge police, fire programs

$8,000 raised in memory of Rev. Henderson

More smoke detectors may be going into Fort Dodge homes and more crime prevention programs may be held as a result of a recent bicycle ride.

That Aug. 8 ride was called the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride, and it was dedicated to the memory of the late Rev. Al Henderson, the senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church who was the chaplain for the Fort Dodge fire and police departments, Webster County Sheriff’s Department and Iowa State Patrol Post 7.

About 175 people participated. They raised $8,000. That money will go to Serving Our Servants, an organization Henderson established to support local law enforcement and emergency personnel. The money will be used by the police and fire departments to support their community outreach programs.

The Fire Department will use the money to provide free smoke detectors to households that don’t have enough of them. Providing smoke detectors is a proven lifesaver. On Jan. 25, 2016, a family escaped unharmed from a fire in their home at 717 Riverside St. N.W. after being alerted by smoke detectors firefighters installed the previous October.

The Police Department will use its money for community relations and outreach programs.

The recent event was the second edition of the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride. Last year’s version was in honor of Josh Doyle, a 29-year-old Fort Dodge man who died of a rare heart condition. That ride raised about $7,000 to buy seven automated external defibrillators, machines that can save the life of a heart attack victim.

The effort proves that even when things seem dark and gloomy there are a lot of good people in Fort Dodge and Webster County quietly working to improve the lives of their friends and neighbors. The organizers of the ride are the latest additions to a long list of people who make this area special place. We can’t thank them enough.

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