The Heart of the RAGBRAI Nation: The Plover Hamball Update
- 25 September, 2010
I receive quite a few emails, letters and phone calls after RAGBRAI from many who were involved in the RAGBRAI experience. Some are glowingly positive, some offer constructive criticism and some are… well not so nice. The email I received from Grandma Candace of Plover, Iowa truly made my day.
I had the opportunity to meet Grandma Candace and the other Grandmas of the Plover Circle during the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Ride back in June. This would be the first time that Plover hosted RAGBRAI so they had lots of questions for us. The church ladies prepared some delicious hamballs and pies for the riders and let us know that the folks in Plover are combining efforts to help raise funds to replace the roof on the Plover United Methodist Church which has been damaged. I wrote about the Plover community rallying around their church in the route inspection story as well as a blog post about pass-through towns and vendors.
The little town of 95 residents in rural Pocahontas County was located on the Karras Loop on the Monday ride from Storm Lake to Algona. In addition to the church’s food booth, the town welcomed an assortment of vendors such as Tender Tom’s Turkey to set up in their shady park.
I visited the town late that afternoon to see how the day went. I chatted with many townspeople who enjoyed meeting riders from all over the world. Lucky for me they did not run out of those hamballs, so I bought one of the last ones! I chatted with the Grandmas that were working the hamball stand and asked them to keep me posted on the church roof project. It was a great day in Plover!
Here is the email I received from Grandma Candace:
Next year when somebody starts an online conversation about RAGBRAI, money, and ride-through towns; employ the attached photo to illustrate how one group put the income to work. Church roofing began today in Plover and we are very excited!
On July 26, RAGBRAI riders contributed $10,400 (that’s after expenses) to this project. That day you saw the efforts of our entire congregation—38 souls, kids included. This new roof means there can be a church in Plover for the next 30 years.
We’re still enjoying the poster RAGBRAI riders signed and constantly remind each other how much we can accomplish pulling together.
God bless you for the opportunity. We’ll be praying for RAGBRAI riders every July from now until all five Grandmas of the Plover Circle lose their memories!
As I have said before, without great Iowa communities, RAGBRAI does not exist. The towns and the townspeople propelled RAGBRAI into the event that it is today. We ask a lot of our communities to graciously host over 10,000 visitors and show them that great Iowa hospitality. Thank you to the RAGBRAI Nation for showing it’s big heart. You made a difference this summer that will last for many years!
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