Published August 15, 2023

A Surprise Ride Home 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan
(Photo: submitted)
(Photo: submitted)

Fund-raiser for MAFB Airmen 

MINOT – Too ambitious? Not achievable? Crazy idea? 

Not in Minot. 

The goal is to raise $150,000 to help airmen stationed at Minot Air Force Base get home for the Christmas holiday season. 

“Minot Air Force Base is home to the highest number of first-year airmen in the Air Force,” said Tom Ross, mayor. 

Ross said in past years less than $10,000 had been raised to assist airmen with the expense of going home during the Christmas season. In meeting with commanding officers at MAFB Ross told them of a much more ambitious plan he was contemplating. 

“I really wanted to put this project under my wing and kind of make it into something big,” said Ross. “I took the colonels by surprise when I told them my goal was to present them with a check for $150,000 to send as many airmen home for the holidays that we could.” 

With help from the Minot Chamber of Commerce, which raised $15,000 for “Home for the Holidays” at the annual Prairie Warrior Auction fundraising event, the project was off to a great start. What followed was another huge boost from a Minot business. 

“Magic City Beverage had a group from Anheuser-Busch come to do a market visit and I was able to meet with them,” said Ross. “They stopped me 30 seconds into my pitch and said let’s get it done.” 

“We started selling raffle tickets for a motorcycle about the middle of July and we’ve got until the middle of September to sell 3,000 of them at $150,000 to send home airmen for the holidays.” 

(Photo: submitted)

The Budweiser Harley-Davidson, purchased from Magic City Harley-Davidson, has been making the rounds in the city where Budweiser products are sold. 

Ross said a Chief Master Sergeant at MAFB reminded him of the impact of the fund-raiser. 

“She said I have no idea of the effect this is going to have on the airmen,” said Ross. “A lot of them already love Minot now, but doing this is just going to have such a positive impact on their lives.” 

Ross said tickets can be purchased by calling Magic City Beverage or wherever Budweiser products are sold. 

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