Thunder Ride raises thousands to fight juvenile diabetes

Hundreds in the Coulee region are taking part in what organizers are calling a heart ride.

More than 600 motorcyclists revved their engines and took part in this year’s Thunder Ride to cure juvenile diabetes in Onalaska on Saturday.

All the money raised goes to local hospitals to help people pay for diabetes supplies and care that they can’t afford.

Organizers said every person riding has a unique story about how diabetes has affected them or someone they love.

They said it’s a major reason why this ride has grown so much since it started 10 years ago.

“We keep calling it a heart ride, which is what it really is. I had someone who had funds from a mom and dad who passed away and they had diabetes. There’s a guy who comes in and he’s never been on a ride but he wants to support his nephew who has diabetes, those kinds of things. Lots of stories, lots of people do extra work and raise extra money on their own for this cause,” said founder John Haverty.

Haverty said they hope to raise about $100,000 from the ride.

During the ride’s 10 years, Haverty said they’ve raised about $750,000 to fight diabetes.