Created on Thursday, 29 November 2007 04:58
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 November 2007 04:58
By Ruth Carten (Brothers)
I recently attended a select board meeting and was encouraged to write a letter on who we are, what we do, and some thoughts I may have. In July of 2008, we will hold the fifth annual Mad Rally at Kenyon's field. After four years of putting on this event it is evident to me that some local people and businesses do not know what the Mad Rally is.
The Mad Rally is not only a "biker" event but has also grown to attract those on four wheels as well. With the addition of the Scottish Highland Games, put on by Hapy Mayer and Small Dog Electronics, there has been another draw to the grounds. Also, many families bring the kids down to see some stunt jumping, trials demos, or the Harley pulls. We have worked very hard to promote a clean, safe three-day event with something for everyone.
That being said, the main focus and vision we had for the Mad Rally five years ago was simple: The riders are coming through The Valley. Motorcycling has exploded across the U.S. as a whole in the last 10 years. You see them riding into town, on Route 17 and 100, two of the most exciting roads to ride in New England. We wanted to get them to stay. We want the inns and B&B's to be full, the restaurants to have a waiting line, the shops to have their cash registers ringing, and with some help from the community and businesses, we could grow this event to do just that.
We are asking for financial sponsors as well as some organizations wanting to get involved. In the past, the March of Dimes and the three local fire departments were involved. Unfortunately, the weather hasn't always cooperated with the event, but even with a day and a half of rain, Camp-Ta-Cum-Ta raised over $3,500 with a poker run and silent auction in 2007. Motorcyclists are a generous group, especially for charity. If you check out or website, www.madrally.com
, you will see the many businesses and people that have supported this event, whom we are very grateful for.
We have lost many events, which I, as a native who grew up here, truly miss. Remember the concerts at Sugarbush, or the horse shows, the snowcross racing, and even the winter carnival and March Madness? Yes, some are gone due to financial reasons, but I'm sure a few are gone due to simply the lack of support.
We are bringing people to the area for this event, and every year that number is rising, but each year the financial backing as well a pure enthusiasm for wanting them here seems to be lacking. As a business owner for over eight years, I hate those words I hear a lot: "The Valley isn't business friendly." I don't believe that. Some of us remember the days of waiting in line at Mehuron's, or the gas pumps being backed up, or a traffic jam, Waitsfield-style, at the junction of Routes 100 and 17; and actually needing traffic control there on the weekends.
I think with a little effort and work, we can bring some of that back. This may not be the event for you, and that's okay, but please think about how you can support an event, or even come up with an idea of your own. It does take an awful lot of time, money, and hard work to pull off our rally as well as the other events held in The Valley. This will be our fifth year, and as I told the select board, I had committed myself for the five years. We see an increase every year for this event, and hopefully we can continue on with that trend, with help, maybe there will be a sixth.
The fifth annual Mad Rally will be held July 11, 12 and 13, 2008. You can check out our website, www.madrally.com, or contact us via email:
. Or leave a message on our phone: 888-892-2457. But please be open-minded when in the coming months you see one of us "Bikers" coming around and asking for support.
Ruth Carten (Brothers) for Mad River Run and Rally Inc.