Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Revving It for Father Fred
. . . .

Revving It for Father Fred

Catholic chaplain. Counselor. One of America’s “1000 Points of Light.”

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

And one heck of a motorcyclist. Father Edwin “Fred” Frederick, one of Traverse City’s best-known advocates for the helpless and homeless, died 14 years ago.

But his legacy lives on in a beloved community event that honors the man as well as the legend.

LOST AND FOUND

Back in 1992, Don Pishney, the owner of Classic Motor Sports in Traverse City, teamed up with a dozen fellow motorcycle riders for a fun ride.

One of the riders suggested collecting a small fee from each participant, and donating it to Father Fred.

“Father Fred’s outreach covers a five-county area,” said Trent Tomlinson, director of the Northern Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group. “It’s such a positive thing, and it’s one of the very best functioning charities in the region.”

That first ride started at the dealer’s location on Blue Star Drive, with the riders aiming for a long cruise along the water.

“According to folklore, they got lost,” Tomlinson said. “But they didn’t realize how lost they were until they passed the same fisherman waving back to them three times in a row.”

Twenty-two years later, The Ride for Father Fred – a gathering of motorcyclists who trek down the road both for the sheer fun of it, and to help Father Fred’s charitable organization – is now wildly popular.

TREASURE TWIST

Open to crotch rockets, flatheads, and anything in between, the annual Ride contributes everything raised – the entry fee, tickets, money from sponsors – right to the Father Fred Foundation, as it always has.

But this year, the Ride features something new: a treasure map.

On each of the three routes, there will be stops and clues along the way in order to solve a puzzle and get to the treasure.

One main winner on each ride will be awarded a trophy, and there will be lots of additional prizes, including Harley merchandise and gas cards.

The three rides – one short, one long, and “the twisty” – allow riders to choose which most appeals to them and their abilities.

The long ride goes all the way to Northport, to Peterson Park overlooking the Manitou Islands. “The twisty” is for real cycle enthusiasts with a number of winding roads up the middle of Leelanau peninsula, Tomlinson said.

BORN TO BE CHARITABLE

At the end of the day Saturday, the riders will all head to Streeters for the Father Fred celebration around 5:30pm.

The main entertainment will start at 8pm with a touring band called Iron Snake, who bill themselves as “The Greatest ‘80s Hair Band in the Universe.”

On Sunday, the riders return for the “escorted ride,” which includes members of city and county law enforcement.

This special trek runs from Blue Star Drive up the east side of the Old Mission Peninsula to the lighthouse. The ride pivots along West Bay, and ends back at Streeters for a special Sunday brunch that welcomes all riders, sponsors, and guests.

“By and large, motorcycle riders are generous people,” Tomlinson said. “This is a way to give back to the community, and it has a lot of meaning to our particular group, because we’ve been doing this for so many years.”

While carrying on Father Fred’s cause is the main focus of the ride, the Sunday ride changeover, Tomlinson said, is one of his favorite parts of the whole weekend.

“At the turnaround, you realize you’re with a lot of fellow riders – we had over 450 last year – and you suddenly start passing hundreds of participating motorcyclists going back the other way,” he said. “It’s an amazing sight.”

The 2014 Ride for Father Fred departs from Classic Motor Sports, 3939 S. Blue Star Drive in Traverse City, on July 19 and 20. For more, visit rideforfatherfred.com or northernchapter.com.

 
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