Bikers prep for July 12 Keith Dressel Memorial RideWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Michelle Li, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
The sound of 200 motorcycles carries like thunder over the flat fields at Oscar Bunch UAW/GM Powertrain Park. Some of the riders carry passengers. Some wear police uniforms; others wear matching black T-shirts.
Organizers say this is the scene that greets attendees at the Keith Dressel Memorial Ride. The eighth annual ride, and fourth at Oscar Bunch Powertrain Park, is scheduled for July 12.
Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel was fatally shot in the line of duty in February 2007.
All proceeds from the ride go to the Officer William Miscannon Scholarship Fund at Owens Community College, in memory Dressel.
Miscannon was shot in the line of duty in September 1970.
The memorial ride was established through the efforts of Keith’s family, Oregon police officer Sara Shaw and Toledo Detective Bonnie Weis.
“Bonnie and Sara deserve the credit for the ride,” said Mike Dressel, Keith’s father. “They were there from day one.”
This year’s route for the memorial ride, beginning and ending in the park, is approximately a 35-mile round trip. Led by a police escort, the riders will uphold the tradition of passing by the site where Keith was shot.
Participating riders pay a registration fee of $25 for singles and $35 if riding with a passenger. The fee includes a raffle ticket, T-shirt and lunch.
Larraine Dressel, Keith’s mother, said the ride brought their families closer together and sparked a tight bond with Miscannon’s daughter, Diane.
Why a memorial ride?
“Bikers have the biggest hearts,” Miscannon said.
Larraine said she believes bikers have much in common with her son Keith.
“A lot of biker groups are police-oriented,” she said.
Neil Dressel, Keith’s brother, said this explains much of the bikers’ willingness to support the police through a ride — regardless of the weather.
“I remember a couple years ago, it rained so hard in the morning, but you’d be amazed how many bikes still came out,” he said.
Diane said despite the somber origins of the event, attendees have a good time.
“Yes, we have the passing of two officers,” Diane acknowledged. “But it’s a fun atmosphere.”
Larraine said she hopes the memorial ride continues to embrace a lively atmosphere.
“It’s a celebration of their lives,” she said. “Not their deaths — their lives.”
Mike said everyone is welcome to attend the send-off.
“You don’t have to ride a bike to come. You can buy shirts, have lunch,” he said
Diane said the diverse turnout always thrills her.
“You’ve got parents that’ll bring their little kids, you’ve got the older people, you’ve got people that don’t have bikes who come out just to take part in the camaraderie,” she said. “And they know how much we appreciate them coming out. It’s a big deal.”
Larraine said she believes the best part of the event is that it benefits the scholarship fund.
“Doing the scholarship, it continues doing work like they did,” she said. “Good work to protect and serve.”
Preregister or donate online at www.kdmr812.com.
Tags: Detective, GM, Keith Dressel, Keith Dressel Memorial Ride, Larraine Dressel, Memorial Ride, Officer William Miscannon Scholarship Fund, Oscar Bunch Powertrain Park, Owens Community College, Toledo Police, Toledo Police Department, UAW, William Miscannon