The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Fulton

June 3, 2013

Petitioning for protection: Record number of bikes blessed

FULTON, Ill. — A record amount of people attended the 24th Blessing of the Bikes on Sunday afternoon in Fulton’s downtown.

A total of 288 motorcycles were lined up along Fourth Street at 1 p.m. for the blessing. Two blocks were filled with bikes parked on each side of the street, as well as on the center yellow line. Father Arley Downie, 82, marveled during his prayer that this event began with four people in his daughter’s driveway and has grown into this. He wished that God would keep each one of the participants safe during the year.

It started when organizer Juls Meiners and Bear Richardson wanted their bikes blessed for a safe riding season. Tim “Tramp” Richardson was 14 when the first blessing of the bike was held by Meiners and his father, who died a few years ago. He remembers riding on the back of his father’s bike to his first blessing. He rode that same motorcycle to the event this year.

A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education District 21 supports the blessing. District Coordinator Rich Petersen, who has attended quite a few of the blessings, said this event’s goal is to raise awareness and show what ABATE is about. He said group focuses on fundraising and helping children.

“We do have big hearts,” he said.

This year, ABATE teamed with the Fulton Kiwanis Club to collect non-perishable food and money for area food pantries. Roller derby participants also skated around collecting for a 50/50 raffle.

Barb Suehl-Janis, from the Kiwanis Club, was thrilled that Meiners contacted them about the collection. Jon and Vickie Lockhart, from the club, estimated $200 to $300 was collected. Those wanting to donate may contact Meiners at (563) 249-5681. She wanted to thank all of the businesses and individuals, as well as the city of Fulton, for supporting the blessing.

This was the Lockharts first year at the blessing. They were impressed that Downie moved from each bike, blessing all of them. Downie travels to Fulton each year from Farmington, N.M.

“He blesses just about everyone,” Meiners said. Downie will even bless people on skates and bicycles.

“We have everyone with wheels,” Meiners said.

Ray Stage has only missed three of the 24 years. His 13-year-old grandson has come with him since he was 2. His grandson brings a different vehicle each year.

Kevin Draminski drove from Geneseo, Ill., to participate in the event for the first time. Friends encouraged him to come. He said the event had a good turnout, a nice day and good people.

It was also Gary VanKampen’s first time at the blessing.

“It’s just something new and I wanted to join in,”VanKampen said.

1
Text Only
Fulton
  • District tries to attract prison workers FULTON, Ill. — While the renovation process at the Thomson, Illinois, Correctional Center has yet to begin, a few high-level management positions have already been filled.Filling those positions are people, and most importantly to the River Bend Scho

    July 25, 2014

  • New tourism position denied FULTON, Ill. — With the unexpected departure of former Tourism Director and Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Bennett, the city of Fulton has worked for the last two months to pick up the pieces and fill the void she left behind.One option was to

    July 24, 2014

  • New class preps students for college FULTON, Ill. — Incoming freshman this year at Fulton High School will get a first glance at a new course aimed to prepare them for the next big step in their lives.While most high-school classes are geared in some way to prepare students for college,

    July 24, 2014

  • Fulton Chamber's future funding source still unclear FULTON, Ill. — Questions still linger around the future of the Fulton Chamber of Commerce despite a three-year funding allocation and a partnership with the city of Fulton.During a City Council meeting Monday, the council voted to approve a recommend

    July 23, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue mugshot Hogue will lead River Bend schools FULTON, Ill. — Nearly eight months after opening the search, the River Bend School Board has found a replacement for the retiring district superintendent Robert “Chuck” Holliday.Darryl Hogue, principal of Morrison Junior High School, in Morrison, Ill

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fulton native putts on with pro career FULTON, Ill. — After competing at the John Deere Classic this past weekend, Aaron Krueger will get to again rub shoulders with some of golf’s best — this time at the PGA Championship.Krueger failed to make the cut at the JDC in Silvis, Ill., but it w

    July 18, 2014

  • Sawmill New event cruises into Clinton CLINTON — Three Gateway-area locations are joining together in August for a river heritage event.The event will be held Aug. 3 and will feature a Blue Heron river cruise, a Sawmill Museum tour and a de Immigrant Windmill tour in Fulton, Illinois. The

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Thomson prison Towns prep for opening of prison FULTON, Ill. — When the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved $43.7 million in June for equipment and staffing toward the activation of the Thomson, Illinois, Correctional Center, a wave of relief came over officials in the Gateway area.But,

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-11-14 Fulton Summer Nights Dog Days Of Summer FULTON, Ill. — The dog days of summer were in full swing Thursday in Fulton as the second installment of Fulton Summer Nights went off without a hitch.As family and friends of all ages joined the community celebration, themed “The Dog Days of Summer,

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leaders support loan for improvements to city's hotel FULTON, Ill. — As activation of the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois, continues to gain momentum, local communities are preparing for the influx of residents and visitors they have been promised for more than 12 years.One way the city

    July 10, 2014