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Event funds to benefit family of 5-month-old killed in crash

BIRD ISLAND -- Part of the proceeds from the upcoming Let's Ride Minnesota' event being hosted by the Tim Orth Foundation will benefit the family of Drake Bigler, the 5-month-old killed in a head-on crash on July 29 near Starbuck.

Bill Neubauer, coordinator for the Foundation, announced Wednesday that the Foundation wants to help the Bigler family with the expenses it incurred for their son while he was being treated at the Glenwood hospital, where he died of injuries from the crash.

Let's Ride Minnesota will be held Aug. 18 at the Renville County Fairgrounds in Bird Island.

Brad Bigler attended his first Tim Orth Foundation Memorial event last year, and was so moved by it that he Tweeted friends to tell them it brought tears to his eyes, said Neubauer.

Now the tears are being shed for Bigler, his wife Heather, and their two surviving children as they mourn the death of Drake and recover from their own injuries, noted Neubauer.

The man accused of striking the Bigler's vehicle and critically injuring Bigler, the men's basketball coach at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, allegedly had a 0.35 percent blood alcohol level at the time.

Let's Ride Minnesota is being held to honor the families of fallen soldiers and all veterans.

Funds raised at the event will assist the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota, the Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund and the Fisher House which is a "home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at VA hospitals.

Motorcycle riders from across the state are expected to converge on the Renville County Fairgrounds for the event. Neubauer said it's perfectly all right to arrive on four wheels as well.

Let's Ride Minnesota will feature a special ceremony to honor fallen soldiers, veterans and children of the Tim Orth Memorial Foundation.

There will be a flyover by vintage World War II fighter planes (P38 Lightning, P40 Flying Tiger, P51 Mustang) from the Fagen World War II Museum in Granite Falls. An evening celebration will include concerts by Canyon Cowboys with Clint Lecy Jr. and ThundHerStruck, an all-girl AC/DC tribute band from California.

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Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335