What a great weekend in Decorah, Iowa. The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time. Starting on Thursday evening everyone (bikes and auto's) gathered in the reserve parking area set aside for the Ride for the Relay next to the Winneshiek County Court House. Decorah Iowa's local Relay for Life was underway. The theme this year was "Ride, Rock & Relay". All the motorcycles were lined up for a bike show (and the winner was Gary Gallo). Watch facebook for pictures of his new ride. Beautiful red. Just down the block was the stage where music was being played by three different bands and announcements were being made. The Relay began with the Survivors Lap. Survivors and caretakers walked the lap. There were two very emotional speeches. The Honorary Survivor gave a wonderful talk about his battle and the Honorary Care Giver gave a tearful speech about the challenging battle with her daughter. There were several vendors and team booths setup. There was a silent auction, a street artist and Waukon Harley-Davidson Dealer had a stationary motorcycle setup on a trailer you could ride. It was great fun. There are always wonderful things going on at these events. I have to thank Decorah's citizens for the way they opened their arms and welcomed us into their community. Decorah is an beautiful community with great history and architecture.
Friday morning everyone gathered at the County Inn and Suites (our headquarters) for the Blessing of the Bikes and dedications. Then everyone was off on a beautiful day of riding the scenic rolling hills of eastern Iowa. That evening everyone was on their own for dinner with several going to the Stone Hearth, where again the people of Decorah made us feel right at home. We then went to the campground and walked to a fresh spring creek to place red,white and blue rocks in the shape of a cancer ribbon. It was just as emotional and special as in the desert. (Except about 40 degrees cooler!) The weather was wonderful all weekend.
Saturday morning after the Blessing of the Bikes everyone headed south out of Decorah to Calmer, IA to the Breakfast at the Farm, Ag Appreciation Days at the Iowa Dairy Center. There were fantastic Waffles and milk smoothies. Tractors with wagon drove everyone around for a tour of the Dairy Farm operation and several actually got to see a calf being born. From there most of the motorcycles headed south on a tour of the rolling farm land of Iowa and some of up went north to the home town of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Burr Oak, Iowa. Most everyone made it back early enough to rest up and get ready for the 1st Annual Ride for the Relay Reunion Banquet. The banquet was held at Nob Hill Ballroom. 60 Riders and friends attended. A good time was had by all and the food was awwwwwwwwsome. A big thank you to Steve and his wife for hosting our event.
The banquet began with a social hour where several door prizes were given. I think everyone won something. Following the Social Hour there were announcements, awards and the usual recognition of various people. The only glitch in the whole evening was, we did not have an auctioneer for our live auction. Never fear, a member of the Ride for the Relay family stepped forward. Bruce Williams was our auctioneer. He did a great job! Thankfully there were not as many items as usual!! Actually the auction cleared over $2300.00, which is great compared to previous years. There were several unique items, some handmade by Doug Bird and his brother and sister. You missed a great time!
And the winners of the Raffle drawing are:
$1,000 ---------- Bruce Williams
$400 -----------Tina Wedo
$200 -----------Trey Stroup
$100 -----------Norm & Mary Peterson
Ride for the Relay