The BMW Riders of Oregon raised $20,000 for nine organizations in Grant County during their 41st Chief Joseph Rally in John Day this summer.
About 475 riders showed up in John Day for the June 29 through July 1 rally. Many stayed at the Grant County Fairgrounds. Riders took organized tours to a ranch near Izee and the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
The rally is the main fundraiser for the nonprofit organization. Ideas for how to disburse the funds were solicited from members and community leaders, club president Robert Metzger told the Eagle.
The club’s executive committee met in September to make its determination. The recipients this year are:
• Grant County Fairgrounds, $2,000
• Grant County Food Bank, $2,000
• Prairie City Food Bank, $1,500
• Monument Food Bank, $1,500
• Grant-Harney County Court Appointed Special Advocate program, $5,000
• Grant School District 3 arts, music and sports programs, $3,000
• John Day Senior Center, $3,000
• John Day Police Department, $1,000
• John Day Fire Department, $1,000
Other groups benefited from the annual rally. About $1,000 was raised through a geology tour at the Fossil Beds for the Juniper Arts Council. A group that served breakfast to the riders at the fairgrounds raised money for the Grant County eighth-graders’ field trip and the Juniper Ridge 4-H Club.
Three generations of the Johnson family performed bluegrass music for the riders and raised about $1,000 for Katie Johnson’s Calvary Horse Camp.