Work is under way for this year’s 23rd annual Motorcycle “Ride for Eyes” scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16. The ride will start and end at Herbie’s Bar in Sobieski. Registration starts at 1 p.m. with the ride to begin at 2 p.m. sharp.
The run will be approximately 80 miles, with a stop at the Boomerang Bar. Following the ride there will be refreshments and food available by Herbie’s Bar. There will also be many door prizes, a live auction and 10 – $50 cash drawings, which attendees must be registered and present to win.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend. There is a minimum pledge of $10 per person. The riders in the past have come from all over the state and even as far away as California. In an effort to acknowledge that not only motorcycles are welcomed to participate in the ride, the Lone Eagle Auto Club will be following the procession of motorcycles in their classic cars.
As in the past, all profits will be going to benefit the Lions Eye Bank.
The motto the Sobieski Lions Club has used every year has been: “Eyesight is by far the most precious thing in life. That’s why those of us who can see, will ride for those who can’t.” Because of this motto and the efforts of the ride, the Sobieski Lions have raised more than $110,000 for the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, and well over 20,000 pairs of eye glasses have been gathered for the statewide program during the time that the local group has been involved.
“This project has not only succeeded in successfully raising funds and awareness for the Eye Bank, it has demonstrated to many residents that motorcyclists are responsible and active members of the community,” said Mark Kedrowski, chair for the ride. “They’re always willing to do what it takes to get the job done.”
In recognition of the Sobieski Lions’ 25th anniversary, Robert Hoofnagle, past district governor and 5M8 Director of the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation spoke to the club and stated “that the Sobieski Lions are generous and loyal friends of the Lions Eye Bank. Since chartering, the Sobieski Lions Club’s generosity has exceeded $110,000 in donations. This is an astonishing amount for the 70-some members of the club to raise and we can’t thank you enough.
“Support is shown in more ways than just money; we also appreciate your promotion of eye donations in your community. Since the Sobieski Lions Club chartered, your three area hospitals — St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, CentraCare Health System in Long Prairie, and the Albany Area Hospital — have referred numerous amounts of donors to the Eye Bank. These donors have made it possible for many additional cornea transplants, and the use of donated eyes for research and medical education,” Hoofnagle said.
“Thank you for collecting thousands of pairs of used glasses. Thank you for promoting the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank and eye donation. Thank you for raising awareness of sight issues like macular degeneration. Thank you for being good successful Lions and including the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation in your service,” he said.
The Sobieski Lions are thankful to all who have supported their cause in any way. Anyone who has questions and/or want more information about the annual event can call Mark or Mary Kedrowski at (320) 632-9730.