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La Crosse’s Thunder Ride raises $51,000 for juvenile diabetes programs



A yearly motorcycle ride in the La Crosse area raised more than $50,000 this summer to help juvenile diabetes programs.

Rod’s Ride On Powersports presented a $51,013 gift from the Thunder Ride to the Gundersen Medical Foundation on Monday, about $5,000 above the amount raised last year.

Jen Buchner, a manager of Rod’s, thinks people are very much in the spirit of giving this year.

“I think with the pandemic, I think people are just really excited about doing stuff, and giving back to the community,” Buchner said. “COVID has really pushed a lot of people outside, and to do stuff outside, and to give back.”

Gundersen will receive about $40,000 of the ride proceeds, with Mayo getting the remainder

The money will be spent on medical equipment, diabetic supplies, and even “a camp opportunity for other kids who have a new diagnosis to help be with other children who have that same diagnosis, to be able to learn how to manage their new condition,” Jon McKenzie, a major gifts specialist for Gundersen, said.

The Thunder Ride will mark its 20th year in 2022.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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