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Ride for the Troops hits road Sunday afternoon

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The fourth annual Ride for the Troops will roar out of the Bemidji MarketPlace Food & Drug parking lot at noon Sunday.

The riders will gather for registration and breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. Riders pay $25 per motorcycle plus $10 for extra passengers. The price covers breakfast, the ride and after-ride Hawg Lunch of barbecued pork beginning at 4 p.m. Non-riders are welcome to the send-off and meals for a freewill donation.

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Organizer Tracey Bailey explained that the proceeds go to Bemidji area service members and their families experiencing hardships imposed by their recent extended tour of duty in the War on Terror. Servicepersons and their families can apply for the assistance through Tracey Grove at the Military Families Assistance Center, 755-4750.

The ride route is a figure eight south through Becida to Lake Itasca where there will be a pit stop; west to Naytahwaush; north and east to Zerkel where there will be a second pit stop; north through Alida to Shevlin; and east on U.S. Highway 2 back to Bemidji.

Bailey said the 2008 Ride for the Troops drew between 300 and 350 riders. She said she hopes for 350-400 riders Sunday. The first 400 participants will receive a commemorative pin. Commemorative T-shirts will be for sale, and there will be prizes and an auction of items donated by area businesses.

For more information and a map, call Bailey at 751-7777 or go to rideforthetroops.com.

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