The 14th annual Mikey Ride on Saturday will benefit Bo and Ashley Young.
Bo Young has had some severe medical problems, and ride founder Mike Maupin has a close connection to the young couple.
Maupin said the 240-mile motorcycle ride has raised just shy of $200,000 to benefit people in need since it began in 2006.
“Bo’s kind of a friend of the family here,” Maupin said. “He and Ashley have helped us out over the years with the Mikey Ride and done some things for us, so we felt we needed to help the young man out.”
Ashley is originally from Wallace, where Maupin lives and where the ride begins and ends.
Being selected as the beneficiaries of the proceeds from the ride, she said, “means the world to us.”
“It’s been very stressful but to know there is light at the end of the tunnel, it definitely helps through the whole process,” Ashley said. Maupin “called me really early on in our problems, and now that it’s gone longer, it’s nice to know that we will have help.”
Bo, 34, had gastric bypass surgery in late March. A few weeks after surgery he developed problems with his gallbladder, which led him back into surgery. After the second surgery, he developed a severe infection and blood clots that have affected his small intestine and bowels. He is currently receiving treatment at the Select Specialty Hospital in Lincoln.
She said Bo is improving healthwise and she hopes to have him home sometime in August.
The fundraiser includes an auction, and “we’re getting tremendous support as far as auction items,” Maupin said.
“We even have a motorcycle donated for auction, seed corn and all the big items,” he said.
Doris Young, Bo’s mother, was very emotional about the support from the Mikey Ride.
“It’s very touching,” Doris said. “It makes me want to cry.”
It was right after the first hospitalization that the Youngs found out Maupin had selected them.
“Since then, the bills have just escalated for them,” Doris said. “They have great insurance, but Bo’s been off work and has not worked since April. When you go from two incomes down to one, of course that makes a difference.”
Ashley said she is very grateful for the support.
“I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to have the support and love from everybody, not just from the Mikey Ride, but from community, friends and family,” Ashley said. “It’s been tough, but with everybody helping it’s been a lot easier.”
Maupin said he came up with the idea for Mikey’s Ride one night as he was sitting out on his deck.
“My wife, Susie, came out and asked what I was thinking about,” Maupin said. “I said, ‘You know, I’m just thinking about let’s get a bunch of our friends together and we’ll go for a ride, come back here and we’ll make some supper and everything.’”
After that first ride, Maupin said, he asked if everyone would want to do it the following year. The ride has taken place the third weekend in July ever since.
“The first year we did it just for the fun of it,” Maupin said. “The second year we had a young man 16 years old in town here that had cancer, so we decided to raise some money for him.”
The first year, when the group did the ride just for fun, there were 33 bikes.
“The second year we had 66 bikes and from there on we usually run between 100 to 150 bikes,” Maupin said. “The most we ever had was on Susie’s memorial ride and we were over 220 bikes on that.”
Susie Maupin died Jan. 30, 2015.
“Out of a small little town in our backyard, we get tremendous support from our community here,” Maupin said. “I’m so proud of our community because they stand behind the Mikey Ride and they help us get ready and support the people we choose (to help).”
Registration for the ride begins at 9 a.m. in Wallace and the ride follows about 10 a.m.
“We’ll have a meal about 5 p.m.,” Maupin said. “We’ll furnish the meat and the beans and we ask whoever is coming for supper to bring covered dishes.”
Maupin said he is anticipating 300 people or more for the supper and live auction. More information can be found at mikeyride.com.