World's Largest Ronald McDonald Motorcycle Ride
Hundreds of rowdy, leather-clad bikers showed up in New York Mills Saturday for a good cause. The group is rolling with Ronald McDonald for one of the biggest charity rides in the world.
At first, all of this leather and horsepower can be a little intimidating.
Jill Christopher with the Fargo Ronald McDonald House (RMH) says, "It's really kind of jaw-dropping because there's so many people."
But if you take a closer look, you'll see this isn't a biker gang, and the rough and tumble crowd is looking for hope, not trouble.
RMH Ride Committee Member, Ken Fournier, says, "These bikers are all good-hearted people. It really comes from their heart and that's what's really cool about this."
Hundreds of bikers from around the country have been gathering in New York Mills for 13 years. They roll around Otter Tail County for four hours, raising money for the families staying in Fargo's Ronald McDonald House. Ken Fournier knows first-hand what it's like to have a sick child in the hospital. He had three.
Fournier says, "I'm a father of triplet daughters that were born 3 months premature, and they're 15 years old now. Back 15 years ago, Ronald McDonald Houses didn't exist in hospitals like they do today."
Typically, the ride raises almost $100,000 every year. That money helps take some of the stress from families.
Christopher says, "They can focus on just getting their child better and getting them the care they need, and not have to worry about a place to sleep or food... It means the world, I mean they can't say enough."
The ride doesn't just raise money for charity. It also flips a stereotype of bikers.
Biker, Steve Kroger, says, "A lot of bikers are lawyers, doctors. You don't what they are unless they put on a vest."
Christopher says, "If you had a bad opinion about a biker, this would change your opinion for sure, because they're great people."
There are 300 Ronald McDonald Houses in 30 different countries. The Fargo facility can take in a dozen families per night.