Riding the line for charity

The riders and drivers in the 2011 Line Patrol.

“You will find, as you look back on your life, that the moments that stand out are the moments when you have done things for others.” ~ Henry Drummond

And helping others while doing something you love is icing on the cake. Last weekend 151 motorcycle riders and car buffs from electric cooperatives in the region participated in the 2011 Line Patrol. The event raises money for a fund designated to help South Dakota electric cooperative employees in crisis.

Several Basin Electric employees traveled from North Dakota to Beresford, SD, to join in the 140-mile ride, including Chad Kuntz, Casey Jacobson, Mike Eggl, Dale Niezwaag, Claire Olson and Michael Riedman.

Karla Steele of the South Dakota Rural Electric Association coordinates the ride, dinner, live auction and dance every year. The 2011 event was hosted by Southeastern Electric, and Union County Electric hosted a group lunch at Elk Point.

Dale & Jane Niezwaag

She says the auction raised $12,600 and other fundraising events throughout the year snagged $30,000. Northern Electric of Bath holds their own fundraiser each year, and presented Steele with $3,182 for the fund. Since 2003, the fund has paid out $51,000 to electric co-op employees in need.

Steele says it was an amazing weekend, and she encourages everyone and anyone with a set of wheels to get involved. Next year’s event will be Sept. 7-8 at West River Electric in Wall. Motorcycles, trikes, hot rods, minivans and more are welcome to ride in the 2012 Line Patrol!

*A special thank-you to Jennie Patrick of Sioux Valley Energy for sharing the photos and finding a very fitting quote!*


  1. Ralph Morse says:

    Karla Steele of SDREA does an amazing job organizing this ride. My hat is definitely off to her.
    Ralph Morse
    Union County Electric Co-op., Inc.

  2. Mike Messing says:

    There are several Basin Employees in South Dakota that would like to get in on rides for charity when they come around. Does Basin have an area where things like this are posted ?

  3. Thanks for the question, Mike! This ride is organized every year by the SD Rural Electric Association. Since it’s not a Basin Electric event, we haven’t done recruiting in the past. Contact Karla Steele at SDREA and keep it on your calendar for next year!

    By the way, if you visit Inside Basin (under Highlights), you can find information on several different Basin Electric-sponsored charities, though many of those are local to Bismarck/Mandan.

    Also, we ran this blog post on many of the different causes Deer Creek Station employees have helped: https://basinelectric.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/see-where-the-deer-creek-station-donations-will-go/

  4. Casey Jacobson says:

    And Ralph does a great job winning bids at live auctions! Thanks for your hospitality and the delicious lunch in Elk Point!

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