Posts tagged volunteers

Summer 2017 Rough Riders Review!

Here it is, our Summer 2017 Rough Riders Review!

 

Take a look! We’re excited to share it with you!

 

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF). Perks of joining TRMF include free Medora Musical tickets, free Bully Pulpit Golf Course passes, and our quarterly Rough Riders Review. 

Learn more and sign up here.

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Spring 2017 Rough Riders Review

Spring 2017 Rough Riders Review

Check out our Spring 2017 Rough Riders Review below!

 

We are excited to share with you all that is happening here at the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF)!
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13 people you should meet in Medora!

13 people you should meet in Medora!

SS close-up with flag 2

Sheila Schafer – Sheila Schafer is the heart and soul of Medora.  Sheila, pronounced Shy-la, and her late husband Harold are likened with rejuvenating Medora and it’s historic presence. She has been in love with Medora since she visited for the first time and we love it every time she returns.

The Burning Hills Singers – This terrific group of 12 singers and dancers kick their heels up in Medora nightly for the Medora Musical. Keep an eye out, they work throughout the town of Medora during the day! Click here to meet the 2013 cast.

The Coal Diggers – Banjo’s, Fiddles and Drums are what the Coal Diggers know, and boy can they play! They bring the Medora Musical to life every night with their foot stomping slapping tunes. Find out who the 2013 Coal Diggers are here! READ MORE »

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

If you ever asked Wade Westin, “What’s new in Medora?” you’d be answered with an enthusiastic listing of attractions, events, and local hang-outs that he was bursting to share.  Wade loved Medora and the North Dakota Badlands, and as the Marketing and PR Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, he was constantly brainstorming for fun and unique experiences that Medora could offer.

A combination of Wade’s interest in running and his love of the majestic Badlands led to the idea for a trail run along the Maah Daah Hey Trail near Medora.  Mark Zimmerman, currently the Director of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, remembers talking about the possibilities with Wade when traveling together to various sport and tourism shows in the winter months.  At the time, Zimmerman was working as the Outdoor Recreation Specialist for North Dakota Tourism.  He loved the idea of promoting the Maah Daah Hey Trail as a place for not only horseback riding, hiking, and biking, but for running as well.

The Badlands Trail Run starts at the Tjaden Terrace, adjacent to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in Medora, ND

With the help of Wade, Mark, Medora Foundation staff, friends, and volunteers, the first annual Badlands Trail Run took place six years ago in the fall of 2006.  Zimmerman remembers, “The first one, we maybe weren’t as prepared as we should have been.  By golly, people kept registering and we were very busy handling the crowd.  Once the race started, I think one lady veered off the trail and ran down a cow path instead, but everything turned out all right! By the next year we had things organized to run much smoother, and Wade had a great group of volunteers who knew how it worked; it was really a lot of fun.”

Zimmerman points out that the Badlands Trail Run can be challenging to runners used to flatter surfaces.  He notes that many of the races in Bismarck-Mandan are held on pavement or well-worn trails, and that the terrain and grade of the trail on the Maah Daah Hey is tougher than a typical 5K/10K race in North Dakota.

In the summer of 2007, a road race was added to Medora’s calendar of events.  The “Bully Run”, named after Teddy Roosevelt’s trademark saying, took runners through the streets of Medora and on roads and bike paths on the edge of town.   As word of the races spread, the number of participants in each 5K walk/run and 10K run events grew from 70 to 100 to closer to 150.  Still small enough to be timed with hand timers and to have organizers shout out last-minute instructions without a mic, the races have a small town feel and a friendly atmosphere.

Wade’s co-worker Ann Riippa soon took on many of the administrative and organizational responsibilities of the races in order to help share Wade’s many responsibilities in the marketing department.  A runner as well, Ann felt the races were ideal for runners of all ages and abilities.  “The Medora races are all about enjoying being out in the Badlands and having a fun time. It’s a great place for new runners to come out and try their first race.”   (This blogger gives a review of their experience with the Badlands Trail Run.)  The events have gained a following in the running world, too: the Badlands Trail Run was recently featured in Trail Runners Magazineclick here to read the full 4-page article.

Ann Riippa, Wade Westin, and Mark Zimmerman (l-r) pose in downtown Medora following the 2008 Badlands Trail Run, Wade’s last Medora race before passing away in February 2009.

With Wade’s sudden passing in 2009, family, friends, and co-workers were looking for significant ways to honor his caring and adventurous spirit.  One clear way to do that was for the Medora Foundation to continue hosting race events, an effort still led by Ann Riippa.  The seventh annual Badlands Trail Run is schedule for August 25, 2012.  Runners and walkers receive a sweat-wicking t-shirt and buffet lunch ticket as part of registration fees.  Register ahead of time to ensure a t-shirt will be available for you the day of the race.

See you on the trail!

 

 

 

 

July 4th in Medora: A Visit with Sheila Schafer

July 4th in Medora: A Visit with Sheila Schafer

For decades, families, parade-goers, employees, park rangers, Medora Musical cast members, and countless others have enjoyed the 4th of July holiday in this patriotic little town.

Sheila Schafer, the unofficial “First Lady of Medora”, is busy gearing up for the 4th at her log cabin home in Medora.  She may be eighty-seven years old, but her calendar is jam-packed with appointments, lunches, interviews, family time, and frequent evenings watching the Medora Musical.  When I stopped by this week, she was baking all-American apple pies in preparation for the arrival of several relatives over the course of the next few days.   A neat row of American flags—which she proudly notes are labeled by the manufacturer “Made in the USA”—wave in the wind from her front yard flower beds.  And of course, 400 ice cream bars are chilling in her freezer (…we’ll get to that later).

When asked why Medora is such a fun place to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, she quickly replied, “Well, there’s three big reasons to come out to Medora on the 4th of July. First, we always have a big crowd at the Medora Musical, and those kids [the Burning Hills Singers] are fired up and ready to do that show!  Second, we put on a great parade. Third, we put on a big fireworks show that no one can beat, and everyone congregates on my lawn to watch.”

The 400 ice cream bars await employees and volunteers who come to take in the fireworks show at Sheila’s house, the best view in town.  Sheila and a crew of helpers happily hand out the ice cream to the people who keep Medora running all summer long.  Around 11:15pm, members of the crowd quiet down, lie on blankets looking up at the stars, and await the dramatic artillery of a fireworks show that will light up the sky and shake the ground beneath them.

Sheila (pronounced “shy – la”) is the widow of Harold Schafer, owner of the Gold Seal Company, founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, and the philanthropist who lovingly poured money and energy into the rejuvenation of the town of Medora in the 1960s.

Harold passed away more than a decade ago, but Sheila says she thinks about him more during the 4th of July than any other time during the summer season in Medora.  “After Christmas, the 4th of July was Harold’s favorite time of year!  He was very patriotic. He so honored people that served.  How proud he would be that we’ve got a grandson now that just got his sergeant stripes in the National Guard.” In fact, Sheila tells that in Harold’s will, one of his wishes was that Medora continue to hold 4th of July Parades and a big fireworks show every year.

When Harold and Sheila were younger, they spent 4th of July holidays riding horseback in the Dickinson and Medora parades, duded up in Roy Rogers-like apparel.  Sheila is proud of the number of parade entrants Medora usually sees, saying the parades here used to be much smaller. She laughs, “Bill Sorensen [of the 4-M Revue] used to joke during his show that our parade was so small, we would just park the parade and let the people walk around it!  Now we get a pretty good sized parade.”  Harold was also known to buy hundreds of little American flags and send Sheila downtown to hand them out to all the children on the boardwalks of Medora.

This year, Harold would have been 100 years old in February.  Sheila knows he would be proud of the patriotic pride still on display today, and throughout the year, in Medora.

(See the Medora calendar of events for listings of patriotic celebrations and parades.  Medora’s special Veteran’s Day is July 8 and honors all armed service veterans.  Click here to read details.)