Morning News â€” Leslie Mielke
Shelly Gailey and her daughter, Emily, were in front of the Bank of Commerce in Blackfoot on Tuesday. They were selling tickets for the Rollin' for a Cause car raffle.
Whether you drive a truck, mini-van, moped or fifth wheel...as long as it rolls, you are invited to join the thundering motorcycles as they hit the pavement this Saturday for the third annual Rollin' For A Cause bike rally to help raise money for families affected by Juvenile Diabetes.
Rollin' For A Cause was founded by local women Susan Jensen and Colleen Morgan to help those struggling with the emotional and financial burden of the disease. Jensen lost her own daughter, Camille Coles, who would've graduated from Blackfoot High School this year, from diabetes when she was just 12 years old.
The ride will kick off at 11 a.m. at the Snake River Travel Plaza on Highway 26 in Blackfoot. Riders will then roll to the Red Pony in Inkom and then to the Blue Moon in Lava Hot Springs where riders can stop for lunch. Then, it's back to the Rim Rock in Pocatello and then home to Blackfoot. Riders can register at 10 a.m prior to the takeoff or online at www.rollinforacause.com
The ride costs $15 per driver and $10 per passenger. The price includes a T-shirt.
The fundraiser will continue that evening at 6 p.m. at the Blackfoot Elks Lodge for a dinner, auction and the raffle drawing for the 1996 Chevy Cavalier.
The meal will consist of smoked pork, baked potatoes, sweet cream corn, rolls, salad and desert. Tickets for the dinner and auction are $12 for adults, $5 for children 10 and under or $40 per family. The local band Rough Stock, well known regionally for its country/rock music, will provide live entertainment throughout the evening.
Tickets for the dinner/auction can be purchased at the Elks Lodge or online at www.rollinforcause.com. Tickets to the dinner and auction should be purchased in advance.
Jensen said this year's event takes on a particularly poignant meaning after one of her daughter Camille's childhood friends, Doug Polatis, 27, of Blackfoot, lost his life on Friday from diabetes complications. He was diagnosed with the disease at the age of five.
"This is a cruel reminder of the devastation of this disease. It truly puts a name and a purpose behind what we do," she said.
Some of the funds from the car raffle have been earmarked to help with funeral costs for the Polatis family. To date, the Rollin' For A Cause foundation has helped about 20 local families and this year's fundraising efforts are expected to exceed $20,000.
"Growing the foundation has helped me heal in unexplained ways," Jensen said. "We've branched out to offer community education classes and have really created a network to help families in the community. The families that we have helped want to stay active in the cause...they want to 'pay it forward' for the help that they've received and that's a great thing."
For more information and updates on Rollin' For A Cause find them on Facebook or go to www.rollinforacause.com.