Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew announces #ForCuyuna - The Event

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced its upcoming fundraiser event to expand the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails.


The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced its upcoming fundraiser event to expand the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails.

#ForCuyuna-The Event is planned June 4 and hosted at Madden's on Gull Lake. The dollars raised at this event will be matched 100 percent by the Hallett Trust grant and be earmarked for the design and construction of a 10-mile singletrack trail adjacent to the city of Cuyuna.

"I continue to be amazed how the red dirt trails of Cuyuna have positively impacted so many

individuals and businesses both near and far from the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area," said Aaron Hautala, volunteer president of the Crew, in a news release. "This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens and businesses to invest in the continued expansion of the mountain bike trails in collaboration with the state of Minnesota."

The fundraising event was first conceived by Ben Thuringer, vice president and general manager of Madden's Lodge at Madden's Resort near Brainerd. Thuringer approached Hautala well over a year ago with this simple statement: "Cuyuna is a big deal for our area. At Madden's, with our summer business, we do not have the ability to assist in maintaining Cuyuna's mountain bike trails. However, we would like to do what we do best, host an event for Cuyuna to raise a significant amount of money for the trails."


At that moment, #ForCuyuna-The Event was born. The event was originally planned for 2015 and was placed on hold temporarily when wind storms blew through Gull Lake last July.

"When we started the #ForCuyuna fundraiser, many said we'd never raise $50,000," Hautala said. "The good news is to date we've already raised over $264,000 (including match) and now with this event we are purposefully placing the 'fun' in 'fundraiser' and look to provide an unmatched event fundraising experience."

These new funds raised will complement the legislative request for $4.2 million in bonding to complete the Crew's master vision.

"It is meaningful to the Legislature to show this type of local support," said Judy Erickson,

government relations consultant to the Crew. "It is exciting to have this type of local enthusiasm for a project as we enter the legislative session."

So #ForCuyuna-The Event will begin at 5 p.m., June 4, at Madden's on Gull Lake. The Minnesota Craft Beer Experience kicks off the event with a live concert by Last Call. Brewers from: Jack Pine Brewery, Baxter; Gull Dam Brewing, Nisswa; Disgruntled Brewing, Perham; Surly, and Fulton, both of Minneapolis, will provide craft beer tasting samples.

Also scheduled is a silent auction, a healthy dinner and live auction. The live auction will provide guests a chance to bid on prize packages, including a vacation at Madden's on Gull Lake, a Raleigh gravel grinder bicycle, Ruttger's on Bay Lake vacation weekends, a Heller carbon fat bicycle, and an Advocate Cycles Titanium fat bike frame. Following the live auction, Jillian Rae will provide a live concert to close out the night in "Rockin-the-Red" style.

"It's our honor at Madden's to be able to host this event for Cuyuna. As the mountain bike trails continue to expand, so does our entire region's tourism economy, and more importantly, our area continues to grow as a destination for 21st-century entrepreneurs and employees. This is


community economic development through trails. We are so excited to be a partner in this future," Thuringer stated in a news release.

"This event marks a unique opportunity," Hautala said. "During my four-plus year term as volunteer president of the Crew, I've consistently heard how cyclists and business owners want to expand the trails. Here's the best opportunity each of us has to take expansion into our own hands. Every dollar we raise doubles. It's time to take action. It's time to invest in Cuyuna."

Tickets for the event may be purchased online; visit for more information. Limited individual seats are available for Saturday's #ForCuyuna-The Event at $60 per ticket; tables of eight may also be reserved at $560. And $30 from every individual ticket and $320 from every table reservation goes directly to the #ForCuyuna matching grant. Madden's is

also offering weekend 'ride-cation' packages where the Friday and Saturday events can be combined with overnight lodging.

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew is a group of local volunteers who gives back to the trails and community by hosting events, conducting trail maintenance, fundraising, and promoting trail advocacy. The Crew's vision is to become an international, year-round, family cycling destination. Go to to learn more about the Crew.

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