GREAT FALLS — The warm summer days of people being able to ride motorcycles across the Big Sky are dwindling, but the Great Falls Tenacious Dames Chapter is still riding strong and doing much more than that.
Tuffy’s Sunset Bar and Grill in Sun Prairie has been partnering with them the last few weeks to raise money for veterans and were able to raise more than $5,000 for the Grace Veteran Women’s Center and Vets for Vets.
They hosted a poker run and silent auction and presented the checks, each for $2,500, to the organizations, who were very grateful for what the Dames were able to do the last few weeks.
Tuffy’s has partnered with the Dames and has made a great partnership with them, as they estimate about 80% of their customers are veterans.
“We definitely need to support them and there’s such a need in Great Falls for that. This year we had the biker bash in July, and it was phenomenal. The turnout was great. Every dollar we raise goes to the Grace Home or to a veteran’s organization. We don’t keep anything,” said Tuffy’s manager Cathie Sanders.
Dames president Jenette Hollingworth-Delcomte says most of the Dames are veterans themselves, so it means a lot to be able to raise money for a cause that hits home for a lot of them.
“It went so well. Everything went smoothly, way better than we’ve ever had in the past. These are two great organizations in town and it’s great to see. We hope it’ll get bigger next year,” Hollingworth-Delcomte said.
The Dames have ridden more than 150,000 miles across the state this year, but they still find time to help the community, and the money they raised is being put toward some worthy projects.
Vets For Vets co-chair Wally McManigle also sees a need to help veterans in Montana, as he put up five people this week alone.
“They weren’t just from Montana; they were from all over the country. We’re thinking about finding some apartment owner that we could rent an apartment kitchenette or something by the month, so it wasn’t so costly,” McManigle said.
The Dames say this was their best poker run yet and hope to have an even better year next year as most of their group is veterans themselves and want to give back to those who might need it.