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KHOGs ride into sunset

The Harley group's last official gesture was to give money to the River Falls Food Pantry. Members include, in front, from left: Jill Bakalich and Luke Smith; second row: Morena Kelly, Marnie Nelson, Kathy Tewinkle, Wendy Smith, Karen Harmon, Marianne Scott and Tony Rombalski; third row: Jim Nelson, Bill Bakalich, Cyndy Shearen, Mike Shearen, Steve Dubej, Ellie MacGregor, Pam Dubej, Jeri Jorgenson, Linda Rugo, Velma Hoffman, Jerry Hoffman and Dane Watrud; fourth row: Kevin Kelly, Phil Robey, Becky Frye, ...

It's said that all good things must come to an end. So it's true for the local motorcycle club, the Kinnickinnic Harley Owners Group, more affectionately known as the KHOGs.

Jill Bakalich of River Falls, a member since 2001 along with her husband, says, "The River Falls Harley Davidson shop is closing its doors on Nov. 1, and per Harley Owners Groups' rules, you must have a sponsoring dealership."

So, as of last week, on Oct. 23, the KHOGs met for the last time, but offered the community one last gesture of its camaraderie: It donated over $1,000 to the River Falls Food Pantry.

Most of the money had been raised, "...through dues, working the food stand at EconoFoods and a breakfast fundraiser that we had at the Mainstreeter bar," said Bakalich.

"We also auctioned off our club flag and the proceeds from that will go to the food shelf as well. The winner of the auction is Larry Dorman...He had the winning bid of $225."

Bakalich said though she'll miss the 40- to 50-member local group, she and husband Bill plan to join the St. Croix Valley Harley Owners Group in New Richmond.

"Just being a part of this group has been a wonderful experience and I am glad that I got to ride along."

According to Bakalich, the KHOGs met at the Harley Davidson Shop, 883 Hwy. 65, every Thursday night during the riding season, then rode to a restaurant that was chosen in advance. During the winter months they'd meet once a month.

Her memorable events with the group included snowtubing at Badlands and bowling at Bud's Lanes, now known as St. Croix Lanes on Main Street.

Despite the closing of the local shop, Bakalich will keep the good memories associated with her involvement there: "...I think the best times were when we were on our Thursday night rides with a long line of motorcycles cruising down the road," she said.