Easy Rider dude to raise money for Tomahawk’s K-9 Unit during 38th annual Fall Ride
By Jed Buelow
Co-Editor, Sports, Nature Editor
Somebody could be leaving this year’s Tomahawk Fall Ride for MDA with a pretty interesting ride pillion on the back of their bike, as an Easy Rider looking wood carving dude is being raffled off at the motorcycle rally.
Along with having a shot at winning the pretty lawn feature, those purchasing tickets will also be helping support a pretty impressive cause, as proceed from the raffle will go to support the Tomahawk Police Department K-9 Unit.
The raffle is being run through Tomahawk Main Street Inc. and tickets are available at a number of downtown businesses. Co-owners of Rodeo Saloon, Hank and Patty Thole helped set up the raffle to help raise money for the K-9 Unit replacement, which Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins noted will have to occur in the next couple years. He estimated the cost to replace a K-9 Unit with a new officer dog to be at around $50,000 to $60,000.
“We want to be ready to role into the next one right after Vali is done,” Elvins said. “Our K-9 makes detection much easier and is an important part of our force.”
Since joining the force back in 2013 as a two-year-old pup, Vali and her handler officer Tom Tollefson have been responsible for over 150 arrests for narcotics. She also has been used to help track down suspects trying to elude police.
Elvins said Tomahawk K-9 Unit is 100 percent funded from donations from the community like the raffle being held to one day replace Vali. He added the department is also working to secure grants to help cover costs.
The Tomahawk K-9 Unit is so well received in the community that her vet bills are covered, treats regularly get donated and all Vali’s dog food is covered by private donations.
Ray Tallman from Bear Butt Carvings out of Medford carved the several-foot tall Easy Rider dude being raffled. Tickets are $10 apiece and are limited to just 500. The raffle will be held this Saturday, Sept. 14 when the winner will be picked on the east end of Main Street by the band members from Ripple Effect at 8 p.m.
Tomahawk Main Street Inc. president Andrea Krueger said the non-profit organization aimed at revitalizing the downtown was happy to get on board and help in this worth-while cause.
“Main Street is always happy to help out the city and the community with an important project like this,” Krueger said. “Our police department does an awesome job and this is a great opportunity to give back.”
Tickets for the Easy Rider wood carving can be purchased at Tomahawk Community Bank, River Valley State Bank, Park City Credit Union, WJJQ, Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce, Century 21 Best Buy and at the Tomahawk Leader office until tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 12. Following that date, tickets can be purchased at the Rodeo Saloon up until “the dude” is raffled on Saturday.
Anyone with questions is asked to call Patty Tholl at 715-612-0725.