Know of a local non-profit organization, individual or family who could use a little extra help this year?
From now through the end of October, the Merrill Community New Year Ride is accepting applications for a charitable cause to support during their annual poker run, raffle and dinner on Jan. 20, 2018.
The Merrill Community New Year Ride is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to give back to the Merrill community every year via fund raising for a local organization or family in need.
According to co-founder Jeremy Ratliff, the organization’s roots date back to a motorcycle ride last September called Rosco’s Ride, led and organized by local tavern owner Dennis Fick.
“Rosco’s Ride was a beautiful 70-plus mile motorcycle ride to raise money for an organization who assists abused children,” he explains. “I don’t have a bike but I wanted to participate, it was for such a great cause. So I followed along in my truck and ended up having a blast. It was a lot of fun and the whole event really inspired me. I give Dennis a lot of credit for our existence, if he hadn’t organized Rosco’s Ride and invited me, we probably wouldn’t be here doing what we’re doing now.”
A few weeks later Ratliff popped the idea to Fick of a similar event, but on snowmobiles instead.
“Just like I didn’t have a bike, Dennis didn’t have a sled,” he adds with a smile. “But he said if I was able to organize it, he would ride. We kinda kicked the idea around for a while and then pretty much at the last minute, we decided to give it a go. We started soliciting donations from local businesses in mid-December and the outpouring of support was just unbelievable! By the time our raffle, dinner and poker run rolled around on Jan. 28, we had secured over $3,000 in cash and raffle prizes. We ended up generating nearly $1,000 for the same organization Rosco’s Ride benefited; Bikers Against Child Abuse-Northwoods chapter.”
Ratliff indicates that success is the organization’s motivation to continue with making the New Year Ride an annual event and now pursuing 501 (c)(3) status.
“The success was encouraging and how we came to decide on the name for our organization. It really is the Merrill community who make our efforts possible. We consider ourselves the ‘middle men’ between the generosity of the community and those who could use a little help.”
And now, the New Year Ride is asking for the community’s help in selecting a cause to benefit in January.
Criteria to apply is simple: Beneficiaries must reside in the Merrill area if a family or individual, or must focus services in the Merrill area if a non-profit organization. Anyone can apply, either on behalf of themselves or an organization an applicant is personally affiliated with; or on behalf of another party/family/organization.
“We had a few ideas for organizations to support this year, but we decided this is a community backed event so therefore we should allow the community to guide us,” Ratliff adds.
The 2018 Community New Year Ride is set for Saturday January 20 to include a snowmobile ride/poker run, raffle, dinner and live music Saturday evening at DAT Bar.
“If the weather is uncooperative, we will do just what we did last year and run the poker run via personal vehicle,” Ratliff said.
Applications are due by Oct. 27 and a beneficiary will be selected during the organization’s governance board meeting on Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. at DAT Bar. The meeting will be open to the public.
“We are very excited to keep this going every year and continue to partner with Rosco’s Ride in giving back to our community and supporting those who may be in need of a little help.”
To learn more about the Merrill Community New Year Ride or to request an application, contact them via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MerrillCommunityNewYearRide/ or via email at CommunityNewYearRide@gmail.com