Community support, fund-raising success marked Autumn Trails Classic.
Following an extremely successful Multiple Sclerosis fund raising campaign, The Bike MS Autumn Trails Classic Ride will return to Pratt in September 2013.
Jason Dilts, event development manager, said the ride in September raised $128,800, the most the event has ever raised.
"That is the biggest ride dollar wise we have ever had," Dilts said.
The September ride drew 170 riders plus 115 volunteers that helped make the ride a success.
One of the keys to the rides success was the Pratt community embraced the event with open arms. Everyone in Pratt went above and beyond to make the ride successful.
The volunteers, the city and school officials all gave of their time to make it a successful event. The riders noticed the support and were grateful for everyone that took part.
"Pratt is just a great to have it," Dilts said. "It's just a great place to have a fund raising event."
Bruce Pinkall, who helped organize the event on the Pratt end, said the Saturday ride included various ride lengths including 100 miles, 50 miles and 20 miles followed with a banquet in the evening. The Saturday ride covered miles in Pratt and Barber County.
The Sunday ride was 50 miles long and took riders through Pratt and Stafford County, Pinkall said.
The staging area was at Liberty Middle School with many of the riders based out of the Municipal Building.
The event was a good opportunity for Pratt to show off its people and businesses.
"It brought in a lot of people for that three day weekend," Pinkall said. "They got to enjoy our stores and restaurants."
Most of the riders and many of the volunteers were from communities outside Pratt so this gave them an opportunity to come to Pratt and discover that it's not just a small town but it's a fun place with many things to do, Pinkall said.
"Pratt showed them a good time," Pinkall said. "They were really excited to come."
A key to the success of the event was how everyone came together in the Pratt community. The school, police, volunteers that manned stations every few miles all provided a very positive atmosphere for the event.
"I think they were very impressed on how the community came out and helped." Pinkall said.
Although it's 10 months until the next MS ride, registrations are already coming in for the event. Anyone wanting to participate as a rider, volunteer or sponsor can contact Dilts at 316-854-0775 for information.
The MS Autumn Trails Classic Ride had been held in Wichita until this year. The staff decided that it would be a good idea to try a new location to give their riders fresh scenery and get new volunteers involved with the project.
The Pratt event was a tremendous success and the riders are anxious to come back to Pratt in 2013, Dilts said.