Thirty-five area organizations and charities received cash donations totaling more than $18,000 this year, thanks to the ninth annual Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride.
More than 100 motorcycle riders participate in the early September event each year. Family and friends of Daryl Kuhnhenn, owner of Daryl’s Refrigeration and a Vietnam War veteran, established the ride in 2012 after Kuhnhenn’s death.
In keeping with Kuhnhenn’s generous nature, his son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Mandy Kuhnhenn, along with other family and friends raise funds for charities on the ride, which follows a scenic route through north central North Dakota.
The Kuhnhenn family estimates the ride has raised over $120,000 for charities in the area and across North Dakota over its nine years.
Charities receiving donations from the ride range from scholarship funds to Heart of America Medical Center’s hospice care program.
“The Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride has awarded Heart of America Hospice $750 and contributed $600 in Arco and Harper Oil gas cards to HAMC’s Gas Card Fund for Cancer Patients,” Cathy Jelsing of the Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation, which raises funds for the medical center.
“Over the years the Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride has contributed several thousand dollars to Heart of America Hospice and has been a primary contributor to the gas card fund for cancer patients,” Jelsing said. “Regardless of income, up to $100 in gas cards is available annually to Heart of America Johnson Clinic cancer patients who must travel outside the HAMC service area for cancer-related medical needs. The gas cards are distributed by HAMC’s acute care department.”
HAMC’s cancer care program received the donations Nov. 18.
“Daryl was a well-known member of our community along with many of the surrounding communities,” Mandy Kuhnhenn wrote in a message to the Tribune. “He was involved in the Rugby American Legion, the Rugby Amateur Hockey Association, Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club and the Rugby Lions to name a few,” Kuhnhenn added. “He was always there to give back and lend a helping hand to the community, so it is our goal with this memorial ride to honor Daryl by doing the same.”
Describing the process to distribute funds and apply for donations, Kuhnhenn said, “The ride is made up of a committee of family and friends of Daryl’s. We all meet to decide how to split up the money. If a charity ‘applies’ (for a donation), they just visit with a committee member and that person takes it to the rest of the committee for consideration.”
Community organizations receiving donations from the Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride this year are: Rugby Volunteer Fire Department, $1,500; Rugby American Legion, $1,000; Rugby High School scholarships, $1,000; TGU High School scholarships, $1,000; GSHA Hospice, $750; Rugby Music Boosters, $750; Assistance Dogs for PTSD, $750; North Dakota Veterans Home, $750; HAMC Cancer Care Center gas cards for patients, $600; Village Arts, $500; Pierce County Fair, $500; Drake High School scholarship, $500; Farm Rescue, $500; Minot VA Vet Center, $500; Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports, $500; Bottineau Family Crisis Center, $500; Towner Fire Department, $500; Upham Fire Department, $500; Pierce County Senior Citizens Club, $500; Dakota Prairie Community Action, $500; Willow City American Legion, $500; Bottineau Food Pantry, $400; Pierce County 4-H Shooting Sports, $400; Rugby Community Endowment Fund, $400; North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, $250; Heart of America Library, $250; Black Cats Youth Football, $250; Kramer Roller Rink, $250; Rugby CVB Save the Monuments Fund, $250; Rugby Chamber of Commerce Downtown Flowers, $250; Pierce County Senior Meals, $200; Towner Senior Citizens Center Senior Meals, $200 and Pierce County 4-H Hippology, $200.
The memorial ride also sponsored one night of open skating at Rugby’s Al Wentz Arena.
Kuhnhenn said more information about the Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride is available at www.facebook.com/ DarylKuhnhennMemorialRide/. Those interested in participating can also call (701) 208-0066.