By By Charity Maness
Martin Summer Fest will be coming to town June 25 bringing with it live music, a car and bike show, cornhole tournament, charity run for Lila Marrs, drag races, food, fun, and more.
The event is sponsored by the Oglala Drifters Riding Club; a club driven to promote positive change.
Doug Johnson, club organizer, grew up in Martin and witnessed firsthand the trials and tribulations of youth affected by drugs and alcohol and wanted to make a difference in his home town; a positive difference.
“These children are our future,” said Johnson. “I want myself as well as our Oglala Drifters Riding Club to be known as an inspiration to our youth and our community.”
The formation of a riding club was the dream of Johnson and his friend Tim Emery and by 2018 they both knew it could no longer be a dream, it had to become a reality.
“But we wanted it to be not like any other motorcycle club,” said Johnson. “We had a vision that we wanted it to be a club where we could call ourselves brothers and sisters; family if you will.”
After talking with many friends and fellow riders who believed in their familial yet community centric philosophy and possessed the “values and heart” Johnson and Emery envisioned in their family the club began to take shape.
As their dream was coming to fruition the longtime friends were dealt a terrible blow, Emery began a losing battle with cancer.
“So I made it my mission in honor of my friend and our dream, to make this club happen,” said Johnson. And in 2019 the Oglala Drifters Riding Club was formed.
“The club arised with just five of us who had the same vision, values and heart to make this happen. And now we have seventeen members,” he said with pride. Those members collectively came up with the club’s slogan ‘Our Dream Reflects Change’.
It is this desire to reach out to the community and make a positive impact that the club is hosting the Martin Summer Fest, “to let everyone know that anything is possible when you set your mind to it.”
While Johnson admits that organizing the event was a challenge he was so grateful for the clubs and community’s support.
“The most rewarding is to hear all the locals excitement about the event,” said Johnson. “And how the businesses came together to sponsor this events.”
The money raised at the event will cover the cost of the event with exception of the funds raised during the charity ride, “All those funds will be gifted to Lila Marrs (York) to help pay for her medical expenses.”
The event is open to all with a $20.00 entrance fee, with all event sign ups beginning at 11:00 a.m.
For more information on the event or where you can donate contact Doug Johnson at 605-407-1476.