County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

July 25 Freedom Run Plans Underway

Big Ambitions for Completing Veterans Freedom Park Statuary


HARRISON – Maye Tessner-Rood may have taken this year off as far as the Snowball is concerned, but her planning mind has not been idle. She spoke with the Cleaver recently to describe just what’s afoot for the coming year. The first project will be the second Freedom Run which is slated for Saturday, July 25.

“I’ve already gotten interest from the Rosie Stillettoes,” she said, adding that another group had contacted her as well.

“I’ve been in touch with the Mount Pleasant American Legion [Isabella County] and Sanford, because that’s Midland County,” she said. “They didn’t want to be any part of it, but then miraculously I got a call because their centennial is the same day and they think it would be just awesome to have all these motorcycles [roll on in].”

Tessner-Rood said her next question would be what would the Freedom Ride fundraiser stand to make, since this event was inviting Sanford to participate in this event, as the Freedom Ride had participated in a special Sanford event last year.

“What we want to do is go to all four county memorials this year,” she said. “We would take the park in Mount Pleasant and have our luncheon for them there. We’re rolling early so I can get ads out in the cycle magazines to let them know.”

She said that other vehicles will again be invited to participate, but that the bikers will lead the entourage.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we got 1,000 vehicles?” Tessner-Rood said. “I think that would be amazing!”

She said that since Trail’s End is sponsoring the event, the theme will be “All Trails Lead to Trail’s End” which is where the event will conclude in an evening of fun, auctions and more. More details will be provided as summer draws nearer.

Her thought is that the ride should begin at or near the fairgrounds, with the bikes heading out in unison near the intersection of Townline Lake Road and N. Clare Avenue.

“It’d make it easier on the cops and everybody else to stop traffic right there and get everybody out,” she said. “I let all the police stations know already, early, that we’re going to be onboard – so we’re off and running!”

That’s Tessner-Rood’s plan for the summer – but wait – there’s more.

“In the fall we’ll be working on the Snowball,” she said. “I’ve already got the Snowball booked for 2-20-21. We’re in, and I’ve already put the word out there. We’re going to finish up those two statues – we’re going to be done.”

When asked if she thought the Freedom Ride and the 2021 Snowball would raise enough for both statues, Tessner-Rood revealed a directed plan she has in mind. It would include sending out a letter offering the other county chambers an opportunity to do a sponsorship of statuary. Her intent is to give those entities a year advance notice: time to make their financial commitment and work it into their budgets for the coming year.

“Instead of us doing all this hoopla going back and forth, doing all these mailings and hassling you, that money could go toward the project,” she said. “Let’s all be adults about this and see what you want to give, and I won’t hassle you for gifts for the silent auction.”

Tessner-Rood said she has had more than 100 emails from people asking where Snowball 2020 tickets can be purchased. Of course, the answer to that one is: Hold that thought – tickets for Snowball 2021 will be available in plenty of time to ensure at least one last truly blowout event. Stay tuned.


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