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10th Annual Charity Ride Has a New Location, and Supports a New Charity

October 16, 2017

WJFW - Channel 12

WJFW - Channel 12

For the full video of the news report, click here.

Around 145 ATV and UTV riders hit the trails in Antigo on Saturday, and their ride was about more than just having a good time.

"Everybody has been on board and has welcomed with open arms," said Kettle Moraine ATV Association President Tim Rohrer.

The Kettle Moraine ATV Association has hosted an annual charity ride for 10 years. But for the first time the ride was held in Antigo, with the help of Antigo's ATV/UTV Club.

They contacted us early in the spring if we would do it and I said yes," said Antigo ATV Club President Pete Pennington.

That yes had a little to do with the charity the Kettle Moraine ATV Association chose to support this year.

"When we made the switch to Antigo, we just thought it was a natural time to switch organizations, so we talked about different organizations and it just kept coming back to Make A Wish," said Rohrer.

Rohrer says the Kettle Moraine association didn't know at the time, but the Antigo Club has a special connection to Make A Wish.

"When we told them we wanted to do it for Make A Wish Wisconsin, their president had a personal connection with Make a Wish as his grandson had been a recipient of Make a Wish," said Rohrer.

Pete Pennington's grandson Ayden suffered from Spastic Quad Cerebral Palsy, which left him unable to walk or speak.

Ayden had a wish of his own fulfilled; he got a dog and a limo-trip to a popular pet store. Ayden passed away in 2016.

"When we found that out it actually made all of our hearts just take an extra beat because you know, when you make the decision behind the scenes you don't know who it's going to affect. And the very first people we talked to up here it affected," said Rohrer.

Rohrer, who had mixed feelings about switching charities, took the connection as a sign.

"It was amazing how, for me personally, that was able to be just be like 'Alright, we made the right decision,'" said Rohrer.

For Pennington, supporting the organization that helped his grandson had great meaning.

"All I can say is that I'm glad that Kettle Moraine asked us to join up and we'll make it work," said Pennington.

Rohrer believes the partnership with the Antigo ATV/UTV Club will be a lasting one.

"It was a very special feeling when we knew there was a direct connection with that organization, and I'll be honest, everything has been great working with them because of that connection," said Rohrer.

Pennington preferred to not speak directly about his grandson on record, but he and Ayden's father were both touched to see the support shown for Make A Wish at the event on Saturday.

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