IRIS Group Pic

Pictured from left, committee member Lisa Burkhartzmeyer, founder Diana Kelley, and committee member and board member Han Fuchs-Aldrich. (Photo courtesy of IRIS)

Each of the participants at the Heaven’s Angels Motorcycle and Car Run will have his or her own personal reason for participating in the fifth annual event, held this year at beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 at Faribault Harley-Davidson, 2704 W Airport Drive.

The Faribault Chapter of Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) has once again assisted with the event, hosted by Infants Remembered in Silence (IRIS). Registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. with Kickstands up and Engine start at 10 a.m. Cost is $30 per bike/vehicle and pre-registration at irisremembers.com is encouraged. Participants will return to Faribault Harley-Davidson around 12:30 p.m. where they will find live music performed by Tri Eight, and the Heavy Metal Grill (food truck) will be in attendance. There will also be a silent auction.

For many, the event is a way to give back to IRIS for the very personal way that they have helped their family. For some, it’s a way to honor the memory of a child that has touched their lives, and for others, it’s a way to pay it forward and raise funds for the IRIS organization. Some will come for the thrill of the ride, the humbling rumble, and others will come for the fun and beauty of the scenery through southeastern Minnesota. Whatever the reason, IRIS welcomes all to attend.

Han Fuchs-Aldrich, IRIS board member, committee member and the reigning Mrs. Minnesota Universal, has gotten involved with IRIS because of her own personal experience.

“I hope that you never have to experience the pain of losing a child, but I am grateful that IRIS is available to help,” said Fuchs-Aldrich. “The Heaven’s Angel run is such a fun event and I hope to see our community come to support this wonderful organization so they continue providing support to families that need it.”

Committee member Lisa Burkhartzmeyer added, “IRIS is such a wonderful and needed organization. It’s support that you hope you never need, but if you do they quietly help in any way they can. I’ve discovered that even though our loss was over 30 years ago, Diana is still there to lend an ear. If you aren’t a motorcycle or old car person, please consider giving a monetary donation anyway.”

IRIS is a nonprofit organization based in Faribault and assists parents who live in, deliver in, or bury a child in Dakota, Dodge, Goodhue, LeSueur, Steele, Rice and Waseca counties. IRIS provides many services to grieving families who have had a child die in early pregnancy (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, etc) or from stillbirth, neo-natal death, premature delivery, sudden unexplained death and related syndromes (SUID/SIDS), birth defects, illness, accidents, and all other types of infant and early childhood death. IRIS have had over 526,000 website visits from 216 countries around the world with the website being translated into 220 different languages. When requests come in from outside of our service area, we do try to help the parents to the best of our ability. This may include providing bereavement support information, help finding support groups, providing one to one support with a person who has experienced a similar loss, etc.

Participants can expect wave after wave of every type of motorcycle and every make or model of car, jeep, and truck.

IRIS executive director Diana Kelley said,“Everyone is welcome to participate in this public event. If you can’t take part in the run, we invite you to come and simply watch. We know from the past that people come to participate. They love the run and the silent auction; they enjoy the food truck, and the music. We do ask this year that everyone respects the COVID-19 rules by keeping six feet apart, masking where needed, etc. The rules will not be hard to follow as we will be outside.”

For more information on IRIS, to order an event T-shirt, and/or to register for the 5th Annual Heaven’s Angels Motorcycle and Car Run visit irisRemembers.com.

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