BEMIDJI – About 70 motorcycle enthusiasts gathered at Home Depot stores in Bemidji, Baxter, Duluth and Grand Rapids for ninth annual Ride for the Red benefit for the North Star Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Bemidji Home Depot General Manager Jeremy Hayes was the organizer for the ride, a 135-mile scenic adventure that featured Itasca State Park, dinner, cash and prize drawings, and entertainment at Northern Lights Casino at Walker.
“This is the biggest benefit for the North Star Chapter, with all the work being done by Home Depot and its partner, Northern Lights Casino,” said North Star Chapter executive Judy Hanne Gonzalez. “We are so grateful for the support of Home Depot and the casino, which helps the Red Cross to alleviate suffering across northern Minnesota.”
“We are especially grateful for Jeremy’s years of commitment to making the ride such a success” she said. “He organizes the event, the volunteers, and the generous donations made by Home Depot. He and his wife, Ann, have been great supporters, and we are fortunate to have friends like them and the event sponsors.”
Major supporters include Home Depot stores in Bemidji and Baxter, Paul Bunyan Communications of Bemidji and Northern Lights Casino of Walker. Additional support was provided by a wide array of local businesses, police departments and the Civil Air Patrol.
The North Star Chapter responds to about 40 area disasters each year. Red Cross disaster relief includes emergency housing, food, clothing, medicine and medical supplies, eyeglasses, health services and disaster counseling. Relief takes the form of preloaded debit cards that are used in local businesses by clients, which brings as much as $40,000 back into the communities served by the North Star Chapter.