Memorial Weekend in Mitchell was big success, says organizer
Greg Foster couldn't be happier with how the Memorial Weekend in Mitchell event went. "Today legitimized the event," Foster said as he cleared a table at a packed Moonlight Bar and Lounge late Saturday night. "It became real." Foster, who co-owns...
Greg Foster couldn't be happier with how the Memorial Weekend in Mitchell event went.
"Today legitimized the event," Foster said as he cleared a table at a packed Moonlight Bar and Lounge late Saturday night. "It became real."
Foster, who co-owns the Moonlight with his wife Shannon and helped transform a modest poker run and Hot Harley night into a communitywide event five years ago, estimated the event raised more than $40,000 to help fight cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States.
Mitchell Main Street & Beyond, which provided planning efforts and volunteers, also benefited from the weekend event.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 attended the holiday festival Saturday and Sunday, Foster estimate.
Money was raised through a variety of events, including a poker run, auction and the raffling of a 1994 Chevrolet S-10 "Kustom Kruiser" as well as freewill donations.
Sunday afternoon, South Dakota Mud Racing Inc. held a mud racing event at a farm outside of Mitchell.
Rob Ulhrich, Sioux Falls, won the pick up. Christine Mauszycki -- whose husband, Chuck, learned he had cystic fibrosis in 2001 at the age of 37 -- won the second prize, $500 worth of groceries at County Fair Food Store. Lou Porras, Mitchell, won the third prize of four new tires from Larry's I-90.
Foster said the weekend is the biggest event of the year for group. The next event will be a four-man golf scramble at Lakeview Golf Course on Friday, June 17.
Throughout the day, adults and children could be found on Main Street. While many adults looked at the collection of classic cars parked through the blocked-off Main Street, children's screams of delight could be heard as they enjoyed a number of inflatable games set up downtown.
Later that night, The Blues Bashers and Kory and the FireFlies played a free show at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Main Street.
When the music stopped at midnight, many revelers made their way into downtown bars to finish off an evening of celebration and fundraising.
The event began as a poker run years ago, but has now grown into a weekend celebration that left organizers smiling with pride.
"This year, the crowd and the events combined to legitimize this event to something that's viable," Foster said as customers packed into his bar early Saturday morning.