Kellen Lund memorial ride grows
Correction: Jeri Zorn's name was incorrectly listed in the original version of this story.
Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson
Justin Hofland adjusts the helmit of his 8-year-old daughter, Sierra Hofland, before she rides in the Kellen Lund 2nd Annual Memorial Bike Ride Saturday morning at Pepin Park.
Two years after Kellen Lund died after a bicycle accident at the intersection of 1st Street and 7th Avenue, the community's love for the boy and the desire to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again are still growing.
On Saturday morning, 250 cyclists gathered in Pepin Park for the 2nd Annual Kellen Lund Memorial Bike Ride, nearly twice as many as participated in the first ride.
Kellen's aunt, Sharon Verploegen, said that she was astounded by the turnout and wished Kellen could see the support.
"He would be just tickled to see all these people, all the kids, on the bike ride, " Verploegen said. "It's just phenomenal. "
The message of the ride seemed to get through to those not participating, as well.
Verploegen said that all of the motorists on Saturday morning were "so courteous this year. "
A lot of that courtesy was aided by the fleet of volunteers helping, including community members and local uniformed emergency service providers that helped monitor traffic on key corners.
These volunteers offered only one part of the group effort of more than 55 people who fueled the event. Kellen's mother, Jeri Zorn, and Stacy Baldwin, who helped her organize the event, thanked them all for making the morning happen.
"It takes everybody's help, " Zorn said. "The volunteers make it all possible. "
She said this year's success looked good for the future of the event she hopes will continue for years to come.
The ride should not have any trouble finding supporters, considering the importance of bicycle safety or the consequences related to it, and the love felt by so many for young Kellen, including his aunt.
"Kellen was just the best kid we ever knew, " Verploegen said.