The fifth annual Jon Ames Memorial ATV Ride will be held Saturday, Oct. 6 in the Little Rice/Willow area.
The annual ride, sponsored by the Lakeland ATV Club, is in its fifth year. The event is held to raise proceeds that will benefit area Big Brothers Big Sisters youth participating in the ATV club’s annual Kind Gary Fisheree.
Participants can register at 9 a.m. at the Willow Road ball diamond/fire barn area on Willow Lake. The fee is $15. Riders return to the starting area at 4 p.m. for a prize drawing.
Riders will find rest stops and food at Willow Wood, Willow’s End, Boomba Bar, Barowski’s Little Rice Resort. Reel Em Inn, Bucksnort, Boyles, Hillside and Indian Point. Riders can also purchase tickets to enter in the prize drawing at these locations.
“It’s mostly club members, but we encourage anybody else that wants to ride to join us on the ride day. The proceeds support a good cause. They support the Big Brothers Big Sisters portion of the fisheree that we have the first weekend in February every year,” Pat Harkins, club vice president, said.
“Initially we had a ride where we’d meet and everybody had to go at the same time. Kind of a ‘follow-the-leader’ thing. But the last couple of years we just meet at the site down by Willow Lake.”
There are a lot of trails to check out, and riders have some options on what they’d like to explore or how long of a ride they want to take.
“A lot of them will ride from the west side of the Willow on the trail system, the Little Rice trail system, all the way over to the east side of the flowage where Willow Wood and Willow Haven and Willow’s End are,” Harkins said. “And they’ll have lunch and ride back — and that’s about 25 miles each way so it’s a three-hour ride or something like that.”
There are some new areas for riders to explore.
“This year we have a new loop that our Lakeland ATV Club opened, which is kind of a loop around the north end of the Willow Flowage area, on Cedar Falls Road, Cedar Falls Drive, Camp 9 and Manhardt roads,” Harkins said.
“Another piece of road that we opened this year goes west ... into Price County through the town of Emery and the town of Fifield, and you can go all the way over to the Sailor Lake Campground area in Price County and connect into that whole trail system in Price County.”
Harkins said riders just need to return to the ball diamond/fire barn area by 4 p.m. on the day of the ride to be eligible to win in the prize drawing.
Prize tickets can also be purchased ahead of time at other area club sponsors including Crickets Pub, Work-N-Sportz, Musky Shores, Minocqua Yamaha, Ron Hallstrom Sports, Black Bear, R & R Rental, Smiley’s and The Edge.
The fundraising ride was formed in memory of John Ames, who died at age 49 in a New Year’s Eve 2007 snowmobile accident near his vacation home on Squirrel Lake. Ames resided in Eden Prairie, Minn., at the time but was originally from Minocqua.
Ames was one of Lakeland ATV Club’s founding members.
Participants in the ride are urged to ride safely, respect the trails and roadways and adhere to state and local laws while riding.
Harkins noted that the fall colors should be quite nice for the ride.
Kind Gary Fisheree
The Kind Gary Fisheree is named after Gary Miles, an original founder of the fisheree.
Miles died at his cabin on Squirrel Lake in 2006 and the Lakeland ATV Club continues the fisheree in his memory. Proceeds from the Ames Memorial ride will be used to benefit the fisheree.
“It provides tip-ups and fishing poles and prizes and entry fees and that sort of thing,” Harkins said. “We’ve had the fisheree for quite some time. We just incorporated this Big Brother Big Sisters event into it a few years ago as well.”
The money raised by the ATV ride has had a good impact on the fisheree and the kids in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“We thought we would utilize some of that money to buy these kids ... free entry into the [fisheree] to get them out and get them fishing. It’s worked pretty well. We buy the rods, the gear and it’s theirs to take home with them when they go,” Harkins said.
There are separate divisions for the Big Brothers Big Sisters portion of the fisheree. Prizes are awarded for biggest fish in different categories. Those attending will also have the chance to purchase tickets to enter into drawings for prizes.
The Kind Gary Fisheree, held on Squirrel Lake, is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2013.
Harkins said those participating in the John Ames Memorial ride can register the day of the ride. Registration can be later than the 9 a.m. start time.
“If [riders] get there at nine and register they can go ahead and go on their ride and come back. Or, if they start from somewhere else and they get there at noon or two or three they can still register,” he said.
Those unable to attend, but wanting to make a donation may mail checks made to The Lakeland ATV Club, P.O. Box 1305, Minocqua, WI 54548.
For more information on the Ames Memorial ride or the Kind Gary Fisheree call Harkins at 715-588-1747 or club president Dewey Sternberg at 715-499-3443.
Those interested in the club and its events may also visit the Lakeland ATV Club’s website at lakelandatvclub.webs.com.
Craig Turk may be reached at email@example.com