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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Third annual Vicki Ballard Memorial Ride begins in Trimble

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Downtown Trimble once again shared its old-fashioned Southern hospitality with a catered breakfast for one very special group of motorcycle enthusiasts on Friday, Aug. 2. A breakfast under Trimble's historic covered bridge kicked off the third annual Vickie Ballard Memorial Ride. Riders traveled nearly 1,200 miles from the covered bridge in downtown Trimble to the 73rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
The sleepy town of Trimble awakened on Friday morning to the rumble of motorcycles rolling slowly through the downtown district.

A very special group of riders gathered at Trimble's covered bridge on Friday, Aug. 2 for an annual event that celebrates the joy of living in the moment and the importance of remembering those who have been lost.

The breakfast, hosted by the Ballard family, kicked off the third annual Vicki Ballard Memorial Ride. Riders participating in the bike run stretching nearly 1,200 miles to Sturgis, S.D. were nourished with both food and fellowship before their journey began.

Many of the bikers stopping into Trimble on Friday have been patrons of Michael Ballard's Full Throttle Saloon (the largest bar in Sturgis), have sampled Ballard's multiple S'loonshine flavors, or viewed Ballard's Full Throttle Saloon reality show on TruTV.

But most had a more personal reason for joining the ride originating behind Ballard's Full Throttle S'loonshine Distillery in downtown Trimble. The ride, which draws attention to breast cancer awareness, also honors the memory and legacy of Vicki Ballard.

The daughter of Raymond and Ruby Ballard of Trimble, Vicki Ballard lost her battle with breast cancer in August 2010. She valiantly fought the disease for seven years before losing her life and leaving a hole in the lives of her parents and her brothers, Michael and Cass Ballard. She is dearly missed by her family and those who were blessed to meet her.

"Cancer touches everybody," said Ruby Ballard. "Every family around has been touched by cancer. And if they haven't, they will be. We want to bring attention to breast cancer. To make people aware of it."

From left, Barry Brockhurst, Cass Ballard and Eddie 'Butch' Robertson pose with a framed photo of Ballard's sister, Vicki Ballard, who lost her battle with breast cancer three years ago.
Kittie Privette of Fort Worth, Texas, secures a pink ribbon to the pack on the back of her motorcycle with a little help from 7-year-old Ashlynn Childres.
This year, riders participating in the event will have a new opportunity to honor Vicki by pinning pink ribbons to a wall at Full Throttle Saloon. A 2-by-4-foot photo of Vicki has been hung on the wall at the saloon, custom framed with weathered boards by Cass Ballard and veteran riders of the run honoring his sister. Those participating in the memorial ride were requested to sign their pink memorial ribbons and pin them to the wall around the picture.

"It was Barry (Brockhurst)'s idea to blow up her photo and frame it," said Ruby Ballard. "They are going to pin pink ribbons around the wall every year. There are a lot of women riders."

"Barry and (Eddie) Butch (Robertson) came down early and we made a frame out of real old wood in the shop," said Cass Ballard. "Barry is a carpenter. We shipped the photo to Sturgis so it would be waiting on the riders when they arrive. Everybody who has a ribbon on their bike will sign it and hang it on the wall."

Cass Ballard also plans to launch a Vicki Ballard memorial website this year. The website will link to the Full Throttle Saloon website and offer breast cancer awareness tips to those who visit.

Bikers participating in the third annual Vicki Ballard Memorial Ride leave downtown Trimble on their way to Sturgis, S.D. on Friday morning.
In addition to breakfast and a little Southern hospitality, participants of the third annual Vicki Ballard Memorial Ride received a tour of Full Throttle S'loonshine Distillery in downtown Trimble.
Brockhurst of Titusville, Fla. -- originally from England -- is the only rider who has navigated the entire memorial ride all three years. He has become fast friends with the Ballard family and plans to lead the run each year for a decade, at least.

Tina Tedone and Kittie Privette, both of Fort Worth, Texas, are friends and 'partners in crime,' who drove 700 miles out of their way this year to kick off the run at the very beginning.

"I met (the memorial riders) in Kansas City last year," said Tedone, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor. "We wanted to be a part of (the ride), but we heard about it too late so we joined them in Kansas City. This year, I went 700 miles out of my way to come to breakfast."

On Friday morning, riders beginning the memorial run at the covered bridge fixed pink ribbons to their handlebars and packs.

Motorcycle enthusiasts participating in the three-day, 1,180-mile Vickie Ballard Memorial Ride pose with their signed ribbons adorning a new portrait of Vickie Ballard on the wall of Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D.
Those joining the run over the next three days were provided ribbons, as well.

From Trimble, riders traveled approximately 450 miles to Kansas City, where they spent the night. On Saturday morning, they were treated to breakfast by the Worth Harley Davidson dealership in Kansas City before heading north approximately 500 miles to Chamberlain, S.D.

On Sunday, the group completed the last leg of the ride, traveling 230 miles from Al's Oasis to the Full Throttle Saloon. Michael Ballard traditionally meets the riders at their last stop and joins them for the ride into town.

Those interested in more information on the Vicki Ballard Memorial Ride or Full Throttle Saloon or S'loonshine may visit www.fullthrottlesaloon.com.

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