By Sherry Lind, Editor
The third annual Cassidy’s Ride will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2013. This event is to raise money for C.O.P.E. (Community Opportunities Providing Education), an organization formed in the wake of the death of Cassidy Andel who took her own life on November 4, 2010. It focuses on problems from suicide, depression, bullying, and social networking and on educating students and their parents at Griggs County Central about these issues. C.O.P.E. will receive 100% of the monies raised at the event.
Cassidy’s Ride is a snowmobile run making stops at several bars in a circuitous route beginning and ending at the Oasis Bar in Cooperstown. The fundraising event is partnered with a silent auction, karaoke, and dinner that all take place at the Oasis.
The event raised $5192.92 in 2011 and $5326.00 in 2012 for C.O.P.E.
Carl Sad, Pat Fritel, and Gary Varberg organize the ride. Kerry Sad organized the auction, karaoke, and food with the help of Amy Andel, Amy Gravseth, and Carol Monson. The route of Cassidy’s Ride has varied every year and this year they are leaving from the Oasis to travel to Sports Bar in Hope, Dirty Johnny’s in Luverne, Punky’s in Dazey, Cheeks in Hannaford, and back to the Oasis, with parking for sleds behind the bar.
You can still participate even if you don’t have a snowmobile by driving your vehicle to each stop. Since the scheduled stops are at bars, the event is for adults, although there are alternate places for younger participants to gather in each town. The cost to participate is $20 per rider. If you want to support C.O.P.E. but can’t take part in Cassidy’s Ride financial donations are being accepted at Citizen’s State Bank.
They are also looking for donations for the silent auctions of any value and monetary donations to help offset the expenses of conducting the ride. These expenses include entertainment, posters, newspaper ads, etc. Items for the auction can be dropped off at the Oasis.
Carl Sad remembers how things were different when he was a kid. “When we were kids, we could get away from it (bullying), now kids today can’t get away from it.” Due to all the forms of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and texting, bullying happens 24 hours a day and the fact that the bullying is not happening face to face emboldens the bully. C.O.P.E. is there to educate kids that bullying is not acceptable. It also teaches kids about the downfalls of depression, peer pressure, and social networking.
The organizers of the event would like to thank everyone who helped put on and who participated in the event. It could not happen without all the support from the community.