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Pastor Wayne Bredahl of the Righteous Riders stands with the director of Our Neighbors' Place, Mary Jo Sutton. He helped organize a fundraising motorcycle ride that will benefit ONP. <i>Submitted photo</i>

Group ministers with motorcycles

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Group ministers with motorcycles
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The River Falls-based Righteous Riders plan to cruise their motorcycles for charity 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, starting at Gilby's Street Department, 1567 Sullivan Court.

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Event proceeds will benefit Our Neighbors' Place, a local homeless shelter for families of Pierce and St Croix counties.

Motorcycle riders and any others interested in helping ONP can come to enjoy brats and hot dogs 5-6 p.m.

Live music by Brad Dense and Joe Brillo begins at 6 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m.

Riding and non-riding guests are asked to bring a donation between 1 and 8 p.m. of kitchen or household supplies, such as aluminum foil, storage bags, cleaning products, paper towels and toilet paper, feminine hygiene items, diapers and other common needs including heat and electricity. Pastor Wayne Bredahl of Prescott said the group would gladly accept cash donations or checks made payable to Our Neighbors' Place.

"We don't' want any of it," he said. "We want it all to go there."

In order to have plenty of food on hand for everyone who wants it, Bredahl asks guests who'd like to eat to please rsvp by e-mail at wpbredahl@gmail.com.

He says riders will receive instructions on ride day as they arrive, register and drop off a donation.

Generally, the route begins by going through Spring Valley and Elmwood before stopping in Durand. From there the group takes back roads to Nelson, where it will also stop.

Riders then follow the River Road through several towns, including Pepin, Stockholm and Maiden Rock before returning to River Falls.

Bredahl mentions several area businesses helping with the event -- Dick's Fresh Market and Family Fresh are donating food; another minister is loaning a big tent; and other businesses are giving food and supplies.

A flier for the event invites everyone to: "Come and enjoy good fellowship, a great ride, food and music to benefit a good cause."

Mission unchanged as mode evolves

Bredahl explains the origin of the Righteous Riders, which has about eight, active, local members.

The group is a chapter of the Circuit Riders Motorcycle Ministry International.

The name endures from the early frontier days, when preachers would ride horses from farm to farm and proclaim the Christian good news.

Bredahl, who lives in River Falls, says the local group formed about eight years ago, and that its size fluctuates. It's grown before to include 24 riders.

He is the pastor of a Prescott church and heard ONP Director Mary Jo Sutton talk about the shelter at a common meeting of Prescott pastors.

"I just felt led by the Lord to do a benefit for her," said Bredahl.

He said the riders group has organized and hosted successful benefit rides before, but they are usually for an individual person, not a non-profit organization.

Bredahl knows that ONP serves families who need a safe place to stay while they rebound from "hard times" brought on by any number of circumstances, such as loss of income and family status change.

Clients may stay at ONP for three months. The emergency shelter accommodates four families in furnished apartments. At capacity, ONP houses 8-13 children at a time.

Bredahl reminds everyone that they don't have to be a motorcycle rider to come down and socialize or make a donation.

He also suggests that anyone interested in joining the Righteous Riders contact him via e-mail at wpbredahl@gmail.com.

He said, "We'd love to have more members."

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