By Solomon Gustavo
WINSTED, WAVERLY, HOWARD LAKE, MN - The non-profit Kruzin for the Kidz raises money through donations and holding fundraising events like silent and live auctions, dinners, and cruising.
Outreach committee co-chair Troy Grimler of Howard Lake said the organization, made up of concerned individuals throughout the region, recognized a year ago the number of children being treated for severe illness at the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis and University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, and wanted to give back.
The group’s first attempt to raise money, in 2014, raised $3,400. The group used the money to buy toys for the children at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. Seventy motorcycles and cars participated.
This year, the group raised $12,000, contributing half to the U of M, the other half to the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis. The group also saw an uptick in participation, with 117 cars and bikes.
“We’re replacing 25 to 30 year-old, used, broken toys,” said Grimler.
The 2015 cruise was about 140 miles, starting at the Howard Lake Legion. Next was a Winsted ride by, and stops in Silver Creek, Rockville, and Annandale before returning to Howard Lake.
The group looks to continue their work by placing toy and supply drop-off boxes throughout the region. The boxes would be available from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas. Currently, among others, the Winsted Fire Department and Uptown Bar & Grill in Waverly are participating.
Also at the Uptown is a weekly meat raffle. Every Sunday at 3 p.m., tickets can be purchased for $1. Thirty tickets are in each raffle and each week sees 10-15 rounds.
The group, after acquiring supplies, will bring them to the children in the hospital and spend time with them.
“We just want the children to smile,” co-chair Nathan Emery of Winsted said.
The outreach committee has begun cultivating a network of families that would be willing to take toys and supplies to children in the hospital and spend time with the children.
Both the U of M Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis have expressed a need for the following supplies:
• coloring books
The outreach committee meets monthly. Kruzin for the Kidz can be contacted on Facebook or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.