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In Remembrance of Daryl Kuhnhenn

By Staff | Sep 2, 2016

The 5th annual Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride will take place next Saturday, September 10.

Registration for the ride will be held from 9-11 at the Rugby Eagles. Breakfast will be provided by the Rugby Fire Department during that time.

The ride begins at 11 am, leaving from the Eagles and cruising down Main Avenue before continuing on to Willow City, Towner, Drake, Martin and Balta. The Ride will end back in Rugby at Memorial Hall between 5-8 pm for dinner, provided by Magic City Harley Davidson.

The ride first started in September of 2012, one year after Daryl’s death from injuries related to a motorcycle accident. The memorial ride honors Daryl’s memory and celebrates his life.

Daryl, originally from Denbigh, went to school in Towner and lived in Rugby most of his adult life. Because of his roots in the area, he was a huge supporter of the surrounding community. He started Daryl’s Refrigeration in 1975 and was a member of the Lions Club, the American Legion, the Racing Association, and the Hockey Association, among more.

“He was a big part in the community,” Ben Kuhnhenn, Daryl’s son, said. “He knew a lot of people and touched a lot of people. With his tragic accident, we just figured we’d get something going and try to do an annual thing. The biggest thing is the remembrance.”

The ride, in addition to remembering Daryl, serves as a community fundraiser to support various organizations in the area. Last year, $15,000 was given back to the community in proceeds. The Rugby American Legion received $2,500; Prairie Village Museum received $2,500; Rugby Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary received $1,000; the Pierce County Fair received $1,000; Rugby High School received two scholarships totaling $1,000, as well as did TGU Towner School; Hospice received $750; Rugby Music Boosters received $750; Project Joy received $750; The Lyric received $500; Heart of America Library received $500; Rugby Amateur Hockey Association received $500; the Food Pantry received $500; ND Veterans Cemetery received $500; ND Veterans Home received $500; The Growing Place received $250; the Rugby Community Endowment Fund received $250; $250 went towards the TGU Washington DC Trip; and $250 went towards Towner Youth Baseball.

“It’s nice to take a bad situation like that and turn it into something good,” Kuhnhenn said. “My dad started servicing these communities years and years ago, and now I’m doing the same thing.”

Kuhnhenn says that most of the money they receive comes from registration on the day of the ride, along with t-shirt sales, advertising and sponsorships. “Without the community and all the support we have, we could never do this,” he said.

Last year, around 230 motorcycles and between 30-40 vehicles participated in last year’s ride, registered riders totaling 400.

Kuhnhenn leads the ride in his dad’s ’68 Plymouth Road Runner. He says that the ride gets pretty large in size, with the end of the line about 10 miles away from the front. Along the route, they stop in each town to enjoy either food or drinks. “It’s nice because it’s a big booster to some of these small communities economies for an hour. It’s just good to support all the small towns,” Kuhnhenn said.

Kuhnhenn says that he and his family will continue to hold the ride as long as there is an interest for it and it continues to help the community. “It’s nice to see how many people still come to remember him and support our cause,” he said. “We’re fortunate that it keeps getting bigger and better.”

Dinner is open to the public starting at 5 pm; there will be a free will offering. Door prizes for Ride Registrants will begin at 6:30 pm, along with a silent auction for two other prizes.

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