A group of motorcyclists in KELOLAND spends some of its time looking out for other bikers on the road.
Those Guys ABATE is a Sioux Falls-based motorcyclists’ rights organization.
Dave Brende is the president of Those Guys ABATE.
He has another passion, too: helping children.
“It’s just turned into a huge deal,” Those Guys ABATE President Dave Brende said.
He came up with an idea several years ago to start rolling in some dough for the Children’s Home Society, a community resource for children and families.
“Met with the Children’s Home. Dennis Daugaard our Governor was the director over there and I told him it might make $50, it might make $1,000,” Brende said.
It turns out, the success over the years would accelerate past his expectations.
Brende says Those Guys ABATE has helped generate around $150,000 or $160,000 over the course of 10 years.
They don’t do it alone. Local partners have stepped on board to help.
“We make it easy for them to help Children’s Home. So they kind of go through us,” Brende said.
The money is raised through a variety of events including poker runs, chili feeds, and bike nights.
“You just can’t say enough thanks to them,” Children’s Home Society Development Director Rick Weber said.
The donations help with operating costs at the Children’s Home Society.
“The staff that are working with the kids…our biggest expense is really the salaries of the staff and our greatest need is to have charitable support to fund the work,” Weber said.
The money also gives the green light for a little fun throughout the year, including Christmastime.
“We want to make sure the kids have a really, really nice Christmas. And everything that happens out here for the kids is through charitable support. We have no budgeted money for this. It all comes from friends like Those Guys Abate,” Weber said.
Just last month, Rick Runge and some other members handed over more than $9,000 for the holiday season.
“Well they’re always very, very nice about it. I get letters thanking me. I get thanks a lot and it’s more than I need,” Those Guys ABATE Member Rick Runge said.
“It’s kids. How can you not want to help kids?” Runge said.
“You can go right over there and see what our money is doing,” Brende said.
That’s what drives these motorcyclists to keep going great distances to help.
“We love riding our motorcycles and having fun, but we love helping kids,” Brende said.
Those Guys ABATE will help raise money this month with an event called 1/2 Way to Bike Night.
You can learn more information about the organization on its Facebook page.