By Alan Sorensen
The 10th annual Montana Hope Project 500 Ride for Hope is beyond the planning stages. Now is the time for motorcycle enthusiasts around the state to send in their early registration and pledge forms.
Early registration deadline is July 1, but registrations will be accepted through the day of the ride. Registration prior to July 1 is $25 per driver and $25 per passenger. The cost goes up $30 each after July 1.
Proceeds from the registration fees and pledges go to fund the wishes of Montana children with critical or life threatening illnesses who are actively seeking treatment.
The multiple 500-mile motorcycle tours of the state are sponsored by the Montana Highway Patrol, with the support of the Montana Police Protective Association, Montana Game Wardens Association and law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Also providing support are Cellular One and AAA.
Bikers will depart from locations throughout the state and converge on their common destination Lewistown. The six starting points are in Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls, Three Forks, Billings and Havre. Check in is scheduled from 5 to 7 a.m. Saturday at the Short Stop Sinclair at 1639 Fifth Avenue Havre. The participating motel in Havre is Townhouse Inns at 629 West First Street.
An End of Tour party will begin with check in of arrivals at the Yogo Inn in Lewistown at 2 p.m. July 24. A parade through Lewistown is set to start at 4 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. and awards presentations and Hope Families talk will be held at 6:30.
Selected riders will be given an opportunity to interact with the children of Hope, and the children will get the chance to feel the freedom of riding on a motorcycle.
Incentive awards include numerous cloth and leather items ranging from hats and sweatshirts to Wesco custom bags, DLX saddle bags and DLX chaps and DLX jacket and bibs.
The motorcycle drawing for a new 1996 Honda Goldwing Aspencade will be held at 7 p.m. Drawing tickets will be given out to drivers based on their pledges in 1997, 98, and 99.
Riders leaving from Havre will travel to Fort Benton and then across the Missouri River to Geraldine, then through Stanford, Geyser, White Sulphur Springs, Harlowton and on to Lewistown.
Riders also earn a chance to join Hope Project at its year 2000, 15th annual reunion, at the Izaac Walton Inn at Essex.
For more information about Montana Hope Project 1999 Ride for Hope or for pledge forms, call Hope Project President Mitch Tuttle at (406) 442-7735 or Vice President Perry Brown at (406) 227-9287. Three web sites carry information and pledge forms, too:
Registration and pledge forms are available in Havre at the Montana Highway Patrol Havre Detachment Office on the second floor of College Park Plaza and at Short Stop Sinclair.