by Cori Hilsgen
Bicyclists who enjoy riding the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail and want to do so for a good cause will once again have a chance to start pedaling their legs.
For the 13th year, Chuck and Lucy Rieland and their family are helping organize the annual Lake Wobegon Regional Trail Ride benefiting Day Services at Catholic Charities’ St. Cloud Children’s Home.
The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 8, starting with an 8:30 a.m. check in and 9 a.m. start.
Riders will start at the trailhead in St. Joseph and ride round-trip to their preferred destinations. The event is not a race; instead, it’s a leisurely ride during which riders can enjoy some beautiful scenery on the trail.
Route options include riding from St. Joseph to Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose or Sauk Centre. The event ends in Sauk Centre.
There will not be any return transportation back to St. Joseph.
The donation to ride is $35 on the day of the event. Helmets are required.
Because they have learned of how much of a need there is to help so many children, the Rielands continue to fight for them.
The primary beneficiary of donations from the ride is Day Services at Catholic Charities’ St. Cloud Children’s Home. Working with children and their families, this program endeavors to help students with behavioral and emotional problems to increase their ability to function more successfully in their homes, schools and communities.
Chuck and Lucy, founders and directors of the ride, have helped organize the event since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
Chuck works as a first vice-president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a brokerage firm that occupied many floors of the Trade Center. Both were greatly affected by the attacks and realized they needed to find something positive to counter them.
At the time of the attacks, many employees were able to evacuate the south tower of the center before the second plane hit, but many security personnel lost their lives after helping evacuate other people.
At the time, the couple was working on a project for the Catholic Charities’ Children’s Home in St. Paul.
In the middle of the night, Chuck had an idea about the Wobegon Trail and a fundraiser for a children’s home, even though he didn’t know there was a children’s home in St. Cloud. He did, however, know about the trail because he grew up in New Munich and was familiar with the area.
After some soul-searching, Chuck and Lucy came up with the idea for the Lake Wobegon Trail Ride fundraiser and have been helping organize the event ever since.
Chuck, Lucy, daughter Brenda and husband Max Larson, son Greg and wife Sara, son Mark and four grandchildren (Carly, Matt, Joey and Amelia) have participated in making the ride an annual tradition for their family as well as for the Morgan Stanley employees and foundation.
The Morgan Stanley foundation has donated yearly to the event and employees also offer a great deal of encouragement.
“Catholic Charities has been honored to be the recipient of the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail Ride and we want to thank Chuck and Lucy Rieland and their families for their tremendous efforts in putting this event on for over 13 years,” said Bobbie Mattison, director of organizational advancement at Catholic Charities. “Every dollar raised by the Lake Wobegon Trail Ride is used to help children in our Day Services program at Catholic Charities’ St. Cloud Children’s Home.”
Another event the Rielands have helped organize to raise funds for the Children’s Home is the Lake Wobegon Golf Benefit which also benefits Day Services at Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children’s Home. The annual golfing fundraiser is held in Albany, a city on the Wobegon Trail.
This year, the 12th annual golf event was held Aug. 20.
Chuck said his health has been good and enables him to continue to be a part of these fundraising events.
As of last year, organizers have raised $988,000 and he said he hopes to reach $1,000,000.
“This is a milestone of a kind to have raised almost $1,000,000,” Chuck said. “We are so graciously thankful to all donors who have been a part of this movement.”
He said they are very appreciative of the time, encouragement and financial support people have and continue to so generously give.
For registration information, visit ccstcloud.org/events. If you have an interest in being a sponsor, volunteer or donor, contact Rieland at 952-475-4156 or Hoffman at 320-650-1641.