Nick Keller to Ride the Valentine 500 and the Second Annual Ride for Cancer
Though he is not looking to beat the total miles ridden in a 60-day period, Nick Keller will once again be taking on the challenge to ride 500 miles in a single day. That day is Valentine’s Day and has been dubbed the “Valentine 500”. A group of volunteers joins Nick to face the challenge of riding their sleds at least 500 miles that day in honor of those who have succumbed or are battling the disease. The event is sponsored by the Keller Family Community Foundation, a non-profit organization, spear-headed by Keller family members, which was founded when Nick first attempted and then broke the world record for snowmobiling the most miles in a 60-day period. Nick will be riding the Valentine 500 on Feb. 13, 2014, in Michigan, as the trails afford him the best opportunity to ride the full 500 miles. Nick and his riders are accepting pledges of donations to the Foundation for this ride. The Keller Family Community Fund is a 501-3c status organization.
In conjunction to the Valentine 500, the Stearns County Snowmobile Association will be hosting the Second Annual Ride for Cancer Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. The association includes snowmobile groups across Stearns County to include: The Richmond Country Snow Cruisers, Bonanza Valley Trail Blazers, New Munich Snow Gliders, Paynesville Koronis Hills, St. Augusta Blizzard Busters, Roving Hillbillies of St. Rosa, Holdingford SnoFlyers, St. Joe’s Sno-Joes, Watkins Central Lakes Snowmobile Club, Melrose Snowmobile Club, St. Stephens River Runners, Sauk Centre Sno-Cleats, the Hindenberg Riders and the
St. Martin Rough Riders. Activities for the day will begin with the family ride with Nick Keller at 1 p.m., followed by refreshments and a bonfire at the Country Cruisers Clubhouse at 4 p.m. All are welcome. Pledge sheets are available from any member and online at www.snowballcancer.org, or www.countrysnowcruisers.org. Turn in your pledge sheet for a free meal and beverage. Feel free to make a one-time donation or pledge money per mile ridden, whichever you choose. For more information on this ride, please contact Randy Johannes at home: (320) 685-4589, or his cell: (320) 250-4576. Please make all checks payable to the Keller Family Community Foundation. All proceeds go to the Keller Family Community Foundation.
The KFCF has donated thousands of dollars to local organizations to date, which include CentraCare outreach hospitals in Paynesville, Sauk Centre, Alexandria, Melrose, Long Prairie, Monticello and St. Cloud. In addition, KFCF has also given back to communities that also support his cause and those dollars are used to transport patients to and from chemotherapy and doctor appointments. Such recipients include: Marshfield Clinic Angel Fund, a non-profit health care provider in Marshfield, Wis., Portage Health,
Hancock, Mich., and the Road to Recovery Program in Hurley, Wis., which is a group of dedicated volunteers that transport cancer patients to and from treatment. Ruth’s Fre
e Wig Closet in Aitkin, Minn., is another worthy recipient that provides wigs to cancer patients free of cost.
Mr. Keller began his quest formally in 2009, the year prior to his 56th birthday. Twenty years prior, Nick lost his beloved mother to breast cancer. Mary Jane Keller was only 56 years young when she succumbed to the ravenous disease; Nick, was only 34 at the time. Nick felt as though he needed to do something to honor his mother and her battle with cancer and celebrate life. And so began the Snowball Cancer Challenge. Nick usually makes his runs across the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, as trail conditions and snow seems to be the real challenge.
Should you wish to make a donation, please visit www.snowballcancer.org, and click on “donate”. You may also mail donations to:
Keller Family Community Foundation
P.O. Box 164
Richmond MN 56368
Nick Keller, standing next to his snowmobile, will ride the Valentine 500
Thursday, Feb. 13, in Michigan. The event is sponsored by the Keller Family Community Foundation. Submitted photo.