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Chances on Harley helps power Ripon High sports
The 2011 Dyna Wide Glide that is helping raise funds for Ripon High athletics. - photo by Photo Contributed

RIPON – Somebody is going to ride away from the Ripon High football game against Modesto Christian with a very wide smile on their face.

For the second straight year the Ripon Quarterback Club will be raffling off a brand new Harley-Davidson – this time picking up a 2011 Dyna Wide Glide from Mitchell’s Harley-Davidson in Modesto – to help raise funds for the organization that helps outfit all of Ripon’s athletic teams.

A total of 300 tickets have been printed and will be sold for $100 each. Last year the entire lot of tickets sold out – giving the club a healthy boost to their account – and the popularity made repeating the event a no-brainer.

In the end, Ripon Quarterback Club President John Franscella says, it’s all about the wonderful support the group receives from the community and giving back to the teams and organizations that help instill values into the youth of today and provides them with a positive alternative during their formative years.

“We’ve been blessed over the years by the people of this town because they’ve seen the number of kids that this has impacted in the community,” he said. “This isn’t just a football thing. It’s all sports – volleyball, basketball, baseball. And with the support of the people of Ripon we’ve been able to donate to these teams that do something great for Ripon.”

The tickets, which are available for sale at Dean Uecker’s Farmer’s Insurance, located at 1444 W. Main St. Suite A, as well as through Gary Bayne – who can be reached at (209) 914-3407 – will help the group gauge how much money they are getting back on the investment they made in the fundraiser.

Bayne, a motorcycle enthusiast and active member of the Quarterback Club, came up with the idea last year and pitched it to other members during the meeting. Little did he know that it would end up becoming a massive community fundraiser and a huge shot in the arm for an organization that shells out money left and right for everything from football helmets to water polo nets.

In order to maximize their return, the group got a price break from Mitchell’s Harley-Davidson in Modesto and bought the motorcycle outright in order to receive all profits that come by way of the raffle. The winner of the bike will be responsible for tax, license and document fees which totaled just over $1,700 last year.

And with the way that the donations from the club have been going so far this year, the added boost from the motorcycle fundraiser could put them over the top for their biggest year ever.

“So far we’ve already donated over $40,000 this year, and we’re on track to donate more money this year than we ever have before,” Franscella said when asked about how the economy has affected the group’s income. “We couldn’t donate that kind of money without the support of parents, businesses, coaches and people in the community. Even in hard times they’re willing to go out of their way to help us.

“We had three meetings with coaches this week and we have one scheduled for our next meeting making a proposal for funding. Being able to say yes and make a difference is what this is all about.”

If the group sells all 300 tickets for the drawing – which will take place on Friday, Oct. 21, at Stouffer Field – there will be five tickets drawn after the grand prize is awarded and $100 will be presented to each of those winners.

Tickets can be bought by stopping by Dean Uecker’s Farmers Insurance at 1444 W. Main Street, or by calling Gary Bayne at (209) 914-3407. People can also call John Franscella at (209) 401-0418 or email him at