Rallying together to raise money

Esther Noe
More and more motorcycles are flooding the streets of Hill City for the 82nd Sturgis Rally. While businesses are excited to welcome everyone, a few community members have stepped up to organize fundraisers around town. 
The funds from these events will go toward supporting the Hill City Senior Center, Ambulance and Boys & Girls Club. 
First off is the Senior Center’s Biker Breakfast. This event has been going on for around 30 years and is very well known. 
“It’s a big event,” said Mary Walton, director of the Senior Center and community coordinator for the Hill City Center. “I’ve had already at least a dozen calls from out-of-staters calling to make sure we’re having breakfast still this year.”
The Biker Breakfast will be held at the newly opened Hill City Center with seating inside and outside. This all-you-can-eat breakfast will run Aug. 5-13 from 7:30-11 a.m. and will include pancakes, eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy, orange juice and coffee. Everything is prepared on site. 
The cost is $12 per person and $5 for those under the age of 10. Also, first responders who identify themselves as such will receive their breakfast for free. Everyone is welcome to attend.
These proceeds will go directly to the Senior Center to cover various expenses and activities. According to Walton, “It is our biggest fundraiser of the year.”
The breakfast is completely sponsored by the Senior Center, and members volunteer to make the breakfast a success.  
“You just cannot believe how hard they work to make this happen,” shared Walton. 
A second fundraiser going on Rally week is a raffle for the Hill City Ambulance. Although the Hill City Ambulance has rented space from the Hill City Fire Department for some time, they are now in need of their own home. As a result, they are building a fund to help with expenses through money from the city, grants and local fundraisers. 
This particular fundraiser is a raffle for a framed print of Jon Crane’s piece “Standing Watch,” a close-up view of the tower at Black Elk’s Peak.
“We thought that made sense with the idea that the Ambulance stands watch over our community and does such a great job,” said Lori Nonnast, owner of the Jon Crane Gallery & Custom Framing. 
All together, this raffle item is valued at $524. 
This fundraiser is the result of a combined effort. Lori Comer and Kay Ballinger organized the raffle, Jon and Gail Crane with Jon Crane Watercolors donated the print and the Jon Crane Gallery & Custom Framing donated the framing for the print.
Raffle tickets are available now for $1 each or six for $5. During the Rally, a booth will be set up at the front of the Jon Crane Gallery & Custom Framing where people can buy tickets. Anyone interested can also call Comer directly at 605-430-7009 to purchase their tickets. 
Comer highly recommends coming out “to support the ambulance, who is always there 24/7.” 
The drawing for the print will be on Aug. 12.
Next, Pete Stach served as a go-between to organize a raffle on behalf of Jeff Schutz of Alexandria, Minn., to benefit the Boys & Girls Club.
The item up for raffle is a 2009 Chief Vintage Indian Motorcycle. This green and cream motorcycle was the fourth one off the assembly line and was featured on the “Jay Leno Garage” show. It has an air-cooled pushrod power plus 105 ci engine and a current mileage of 1,838. 
“It’s just gorgeous,” said Stach. 
From Aug. 5-13, the bike will be displayed under a tent on Main Street located in the first parking spot on the north side of the bump out in front of the Mangy Moose. There tickets can be purchased at three for $50 or seven for $100. 
Then Sunday, Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. a winner will be drawn. The winner will receive the motorcycle, 51 percent of the proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club and 49 percent will go to Schutz to compensate him for the cost of the bike. 
Stach shared that the Boys & Girls Club is a “wonderful organization” that deserves support for the services they offer the community. They provide programs for the kids and a safe place for them to learn and grow. Meanwhile, parents can have peace of mind knowing their kids are well taken care of. 
“If I have anything I can do to help in any way, I will,” said Stach. That is why Stach organizes another fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club during the Sturgis Rally. 
Pete’s Bike Wash started with Stach, his son’s girlfriend, a garden hose and a bucket in a parking lot 20 years ago.  Stach then reinvested the money raised into the bike wash to cover expenses and expand. 
Five years into the bike wash, Stach was approached by Schutz who offered to transport supplies and equipment for the bike wash from his mobile wash franchise in Minnesota at no charge. He has continued to do so for the last 15 years. 
“He does the complete package at no cost to me. He donates all this to help us raise funds for the Club,” said Stach. “He’s an incredible guy. He does things that I can’t even begin to imagine or think of.” 
Pete’s Bike Wash will be at the First Interstate Bank parking lot Aug. 5 -13 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. However, on the last day the wash will close at noon. Bikers can get their choice of a $20 quick wash or a $30 complete detail. With the latter option, the bike is not only scrubbed clean, but every piece of chrome is detailed. 
“We clean them very well, and they look brand new,” said Stach. “ People seek us out because they know we do a good job.”
Everyone working the bike wash is paid in tips. Then once the expenses are covered, the remaining proceeds are donated to the Boys & Girls Club. 
“It’s a very good thing to do for the club,” said Stach. “I enjoy it.”
As a reminder, Hill City Main Street will be closed to non-motorcycle traffic Friday, Aug. 5 around 4 p.m. to Friday, Aug. 12, depending on rally traffic. The closure will begin at Oak Street and end at the Exxon Station. Extra caution and attention are advised when driving to avoid any accidents. 
The Visitor Information Center will also have motorcycle maps and other helpful information available during this time. 

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