Krista Corner Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly 50 riders recently hopped on motorcycles and rode nearly 500 miles to aide the Montana Highway Patrol in giving families of children with serious illnesses something to hope for. Richard Hader, president of the Montana Hope Project, said on Aug. 1 the funds raised by the Ride 4 Hope 500 held July 26 could grant around 13 wishes. Average cost of one wish is $6,000, he added. "To date we're at about $83,000," he said. "There is still money coming in." Big Sandy rider Robert Boettcher he thinks the Ride 4 Hope will see $100,000 raised this year, as the group has until Sept. 15 to turn in pledged money. Hader said this year, Montana Hope Project volunteers hope to have a total of 300 wishes granted by the end of this year. "We have eight wishes pending and 293 completed" to date, he said, adding that financially, the Hope Project will be able to grant the wishes thanks to Montana's bighearted bikers and their contributions to the Ride 4 Hope this year. "What we're waiting on is travel dates," he said of the eight pending wishes. Boettcher said the number of riders leaving from Havre totaled 46, including an entire family from Glasgow, who made the trek on three bikes. "(The bikers) ride out of six different locations," Boettcher said. "We had 46 riders out of Havre, and I don't know if they were trying to outdo us, but there was 50 that rode out of Three Forks," he added laughing. "They got a little bigger population, where as we draw from the Hi-Line, but still, we had 96 riders out of just two areas, and there is four other places to ride out of," Boettcher said. About 150 to 200 total riders trekked from various starting points to the final gathering place, and this year, Boettcher said, a little added excitement was in store. "We rode to Red Lodge, and we got down there just about the time the fire started," he said. "The fire started about 3 p. m. All of a sudden we were looking up and there was this huge black cloud. It was really ugly." Boettcher said he enjoys contributing to the Montana Hope Project, which celebrates a mile stone next summer. "It's really a cool project," he said. "(The Montana Hope Project) will celebrate 25 years next year, and we will do a celebration of hope next year in Helena." Boettcher said the ride would not be possible without contributions from everyday heroes. "I would like to say thanks to the TownHouse Inns for their hospitality when we were registering folks, especially Raelene (Fredenberg) and Rachel (Bianco)," he said. To get in on the action next year, contact Hi-Line coordinator Chuck Comp at 378-2611. For more information on the Montana Hope Project, visit www.montanahope. org.