The 2016 4-H Bike Rodeo, which took place Thursday, May 26, was rated a huge success with 75 area youth taking part in the event. The event was made possible through the efforts of many individuals and local law enforcement officials.
Four Junior Busy Bees 4-H members organized and publicized the event. Committee members included chairman William Karels, Benett Street, Tatum Berry and Hailey Hupke. They were supervised by Grant County 4-H leader Susan Karels.
Upon arrival, the students participating each received a free 4-H Bike Rodeo t-shirt compliments of the Catholic United Grants4Good program and a Thrivent Financial Community Impact grant. Fifty children that attended were given new bike helmets, donated by South Dakota Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) and from the Building Our South Dakota Rural Communities (BOSDRC) SAFETY grant. Peggy Schuelke, Dr. Lechner and Mindy Giesen from the Avera Medical staff performed helmet inspections. “If any area youth do not have a properly fitted bicycle helmet, please contact the Grant County 4-H office,” noted Karels. “There are a few still available.”
The Milbank City Police officers were on hand to complete bike inspections and helped complete bike licensing. The South Dakota Highway Patrol presented a session explaining basic bicycle safety to the group. Students completed 2 obstacle courses set up by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department. The courses had the students navigate through the course while being evaluated by the law enforcement officers present. They were watching to see that each child was able to handle their bike with safety and control, while obeying traffic rules. The Grant-Roberts Ambulance was on hand for tours and explanations of the ambulance. The fourth session was a fun ride on the Flynn Nature Trail while the final session included a coloring contest.
Winners of the coloring contest were Macy Mueller, ages 4-6; Kalli Grong, ages 7-8, and Luis Berrones, ages 9-11. Each were presented with a bike trophy donated by Street Graphex.
Great Western Bank gave a cash donation which was used for posters and other supplies for the event. Thrivent Financial provided a Community Impact grant for the noon meal. All the participants and presenters enjoyed a meal of hot dogs and chips. The milk and ice cream bars were provided by the Midwest Dairy Association grant. A mid-morning snack of cheese sticks was donated by Valley Queen Cheese with water provided by Thrivent Financial.
At the conclusion, each child received a certificate for completing the safety course. A drawing for many door prizes donated by local firms was also done. The boys bike, donated by Seehafer Ace Hardware, was won by Mack Koplin. The girls bike, purchase from a Shopko Foundation grant, was won by Mackenzie Mueller.
Organizations involved in the planning of the event included the Milbank City Police, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Grant-Roberts Ambulance Service, Milbank Area Hospital Avera, Avera Medical Group Milbank and the Grant County 4-H Office.
Each participant went home with a large assortment of goodies. Those included bike reflectors from Milbank Area Hospital Avera and Avera Medical Group Milbank, food coupon from Hardee’s, drink coupon from Food-N-Fuel and gift bags from Wells Fargo Bank and Storm Insurance.
Businesses that donated prizes were Mill Theatre, gift cards; Lewis Drug, toys; Unity Square, day pass; Subway, gift cards; Titan Machinery, toys; Triple Dip Lodge, gift cards; KMSD, Nickelodeon University wristbands; Pizza Ranch, gift coupons; Dakota Valley Trucking, sweatshirt, t-shirt, can holders and gift certificate to Triple Dip Lodge; S&D One Stop, gift card; Carrie Novy, Tupperware water bottles; Shopko Foundation, bike accessories, and Schuneman Equipment, toys.
Volunteers who presented sessions during the event included staff members of Grant-Roberts Ambulance, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Milbank Police Department and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Those who worked in other capacities to assure the success of the day included Grant County 4-H advisor Sara Koepke, Grant Count 4-H office assistant Nikki Rabe, Susan Sime, Teresa Adolph, Candee Cloos, Darcy Hupke, Devon Balling and Zoey Henderson. Also present were numerous volunteer parents and grandparents.
“Organizers would like to thank everyone that was involved to make this a great event,” expressed Karels. “Plans are in the making for the next 4-H Bike Rodeo/Safety Day for 2018.”
Picture 1: Seventy-five local youth from the area participated in the 2016 4-H Bike Rodeo.
Picture 2: 4-H planning committee members included, left to right, Hope Karels (fun ride helper), Tatum Berry, William Karels, Hailey Hupke and Benett Street.
Picture 3: Mack Koplin, pictured with Kristi Seehafer, was the winner of the red bike, donated by Seehafer Ace Hardware.
Picture 4: Mackenzie Mueller was the winner of the blue bike presented by the Shopko Foundation.