Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thompson residents salute Louie Run


THOMPSON – This week, Local residents in Thompson took the opportunity to join in a unique celebration of roadgoing adventure and remembrance.

The twenty-fifth annual Louie Run was held on Sunday, May 4th in memory of fallen riders from across the area. The yearly event has drawn support from motorcyclists of all kinds. But this time, the event took on a new meaning.

Parishioners at Thompson United Methodist Church, on the town square, were used to hearing the sound of roaring Harley-Davidsons during services that coincided with the weekend happening. So on Sunday, member Tom Mihalik led a group of children and parents outside to greet the riders with a personal message of inspiration and hope.

He said the idea was first proposed by his wife, Liz, about two years ago.

“These people may not all be believers,” Mihalik told the assembly. “But they represent a kind of congregation. We want to share our faith with them.”

He then read from a creed composed by the Louie Run Foundation: “As we travel the highways of our countryside, may we experience the love of life and adventure in the great outdoors, and one's peace of mind in our inner self. May we safely soar with pride in one's self and one's machine, respect the rights of others, and seek to quell all prejudices and extend the hand of fellowship to each other. And may we all stand united… as our forefathers once did when founding our great nation.”

Pastor Harley Wheeler was upbeat about the opportunity to bond with the wheeled passers-by.

“We want to show God’s love to them,” he said.

At about 11:30 a.m., Mihalik led the kids to a sidewalk in front of their house of worship, for an outdoor pep rally of sorts.

Children who participated waved flags, and held a banner that read “God still cares Today.” Their demonstration was well received by the group of riders in attendance.

Mihalik said that several members of the Thompson church belong to the Christian Motorcyclists Association, a faith-based group.

“Next year, we’d like to do even more during this event,” he observed.

The Louie Run began as a tribute to tavern owner Louie Ivcovic, in 1983.


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