Dale Goetz Memorial Motorcycle Ride


The Chaplain Goetz Memorial Motorcylce Ride
Bruce and Kathy Wolff of Watertown have ridden their motorcycle as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba, or Alabama in one trip, so 200 miles for a great cause didn’t seem at all intimidating.

“We go on two or three benefit rides each year, usually,” Bruce Wolff said, “but we also like to go on rides for the scenic value.”

The Wolffs enjoyed both Aug. 6 during the first Dale Goetz Memorial Motorcycle Ride. Proceeds from the event went to the Dale Goetz Memorial Chaplain Fund, which helps Maranatha Baptist Seminary students preparing for the military chaplaincy and provides current chaplains with Bible-based materials and resources.

A Watertown police escort stopped traffic to allow the 17 motorcycles and 22 riders to exit campus and turn west on Main St. Warm, sunny weather greeted them as they rode through rural south central Wisconsin. The ride included stops for lunch at Baraboo’s Ochsner Park, a drive through Devil’s Lake Park, and a ferry across Lake Wisconsin.

Maranatha Maintenance Supervisor Tony Fell and Dean of Students Doug Richards helped organize the event.

“Everybody stayed together, the route was as scenic as advertised, and the only minor maintenance issue, a shift linkage, was fixed with a piece of string,” Fell said. “We had a great variety of people among the riders, in terms of their motorcycle experience and their connections to Maranatha.”

Richards, a neighbor, invited the Wolffs. Maranatha Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor Doug Hewison invited retired Watertown Police Department Sergeant Terry Krueger, who now does auto repair.

“The best part of this is the great weather … and not being at work,” Krueger said.

The participants included Emerson Bonner (’06) of Coleman, WI, who read event details on the Internet; Max Foster, father of two Maranatha graduates; and Maranatha Academy graduates Todd Terrill and Gary Kernodler.

“I was looking for a ride where the stops weren’t all at bars,” Bonner said.

Looking over an old BMWMost of the bikes were newer, larger Harley-Davidsons. Science professor Dr. Paul Molitor demonstrated surprising power, however, on his 1977 BMW R100.

Captain Dale Goetz, a 1995 Maranatha graduate, was killed by a roadside bomb Aug. 30, 2010, in Afghanistan. He was the first Army chaplain to die in combat since 1970. Captain Goetz left behind a wife and three sons.

The tentative date for the second Dale Goetz Memorial Motorcycle Ride is Aug. 4, 2012.

“I’ve already had a number of people tell me they plan to ride next year,” Fell said. “When you consider this was the first time for this event, I was very pleased with the turnout and how everything went.”

Event sponsors included Grinwald Ford Quick Lane Auto and Tire Center, Klecker’s Heating and Air Conditioning, the Maranatha Alumni Association, Maranatha Bookstore, and Maranatha Communications Corporation, Pioneer College Caterers, Rob’s Performance Motorsports, Upper Krust, and Wal-Mart.