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Wolf Lake was a sea of black leather Saturday as 1,500 bikes rolled into town for lunch. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)
Wolf Lake was a sea of black leather Saturday as 1,500 bikes rolled into town for lunch. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Ronald McDonald House benefit ride nets $136,000 and counting

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

BY Sarah smith

The benign burg of Wolf Lake resembled a microcosm of Sturgis Saturday as 1,500 bikers rumbled in for lunch.

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It took nearly 30 minutes to get everybody in town and situated to celebrate the Ronald McDonald House charity run.

So far, $136,000 has been raised for Fargo’s Ronald McDonald House, but until all pledges are counted in the coming weeks, that’s just a preliminary number.

“If you haven’t used a Ronald McDonald house, you probably know someone who has,” said organizer Greg Karvonen of New York Mills.

In its 12th year, the ride has already raised “a cool million,” as Karvonen put it, for the houses that provide free lodging to hospitalized children and their families across the United States.

“It just keeps growing,” Karvonen said in amazement, adding that he thinks it may be leveling off at 1,500 bikes.

The huge group, which spread miles down the highways, came to Wolf Lake from Wadena for lunch. Then it was on to New York Mills.

Several stands were set up to serve hot dogs, burgers, brats and beverages in Wolf Lake. Bikes spilled out from a parking lot onto the streets, lined up like the annual Sturgis rally.

“We’ve never had a problem with these riders,” said a Becker County deputy who would only identify himself as Larry.

“Every once in a while someone tips over or they hit a deer,” but no other issues are associated with the massive ride.

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