Havre Daily News
A former Montana man is now seven days into a 20-day, cross-Montana bike ride to raise money for the Boys & Girls clubs of Montana, and will be stopping in Havre this weekend.
Jess Nepstad, 42, will be pedaling 1,650 miles on the journey as part of his Spinnin' Aroun' Montana '05 tour, hitting 20 Montana cities and a whole lot of pavement in between. The goal of the trip is to raise $50,000 for the Montana Boys & Girls clubs. According to his Web site, www.spam05.org, where he is keeping a daily updated journal about his travels, that shouldn't be too hard - he'd already raised $31,582 before putting in a single mile.
Nepstad has deep Havre connections. His aunt Laurie Hulburt lives here, as does his sister Dayna Springer, and he comes through town about once a year, Hulburt said. They will both be following behind him for the rest of his Montana journey in his motor home until he ends up Aug. 5 back where he started, in Bozeman, Hulburt said.
Nepstad was born in Livingston, and moved away from Montana about 20 years ago. His mother, Bonnie Young, was a very active member of the Bozeman Boys & Girls Club before she died 12 years ago. Since then, Hulburt said, Nepstad has taken an active interest in the club and the kids it supports.
"He's got two little kids of his own," Hulburt said. "He really feels a connection to the kids in Montana, and wanted to help."
The kids and employees at the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line have events planned for his stay in Havre.
Krista Solomon, executive director of the Havre club, said Nepstad's arrival Saturday at 3 or 4 p.m. will be met with a police escort. A meet and greet with the biker will be held at the old drive-in movie theater east of town on U.S. Highway 2 for anyone who is interested. Nepstad works as director of sales for Nestle, and that company has donated all the food for a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the St. Jude's Catholic Church Parish Center at the corner of Fifth Street and Seventh Avenue.
Sunday will also have a silent auction, with donations from businesses around town - plus some otherunique items - going to the highest bidders, Solomon said. One Montana State University-Northern football player and two basketball players will be auctioned off for yard work, she said, and the Boys & Girls Club is auctioning a birthday party at its facility.
The club's kids have also been busy gathering donations, she said. They've raised nearly $1,000 in pledges for a Bike-a-Thon that will start today at 1 p.m. The highest-earning boy and girl will be rewarded with a free bike on Sunday, Solomon said. The bikes were paid for by Nepstad.
Nepstad's ride has garnered $2,500 in donations in the last week, she said. All donations raised during his ride will be matched by Nestle.
The donations he raised before he started came from online donations and other individual contributions, Hulburt said.
Solomon said Nepstad will be in Malta today for a similar event with all proceeds going toward start-up funds for a Boys & Girls Club there. Solomon said the club will be the first extension site the Havre club has set up in its three-year history.
After Havre, Nepstad can be found pedaling west on U.S. Highway 2, stopping in Shelby, Cut Bank, Browning and Columbia Falls before heading south to Missoula, then pushing on to Bozeman.
Anyone interested in donating can do so through the Web site or send a check to Nepstad at 10811 Citrus Drive, Moorpark, CA 93021.