Keesha Hervey/the Morning Sun
PITTSBURG — Losing a friend suddenly is never easy. However, friends of Scott Vanbecelaere were determined to help his family after losing Scott to a sudden heart attack.
According to Michael Heckert, a longtime friend of Vanbeceleare, that desire to help created a memorial Dice Run last year. The Dice Run helps to offset the cost of sending Vanbeceleare’s children to college.
It was successful in 2017 over a hundred bikers showed up to ride and over two hundred people attended the party at the end of the ride. So Heckert and his wife Kimberly, decided to make it an annual event.
“This is a good opportunity for the public to come out and support a good cause while having a really good time,” Heckert said.
Vanbecelaere’s widow, Diane, said that her husband was a lifelong biker with his love of motorcycles starting when he was a very young child and she wasn’t surprised that Heckert wanted to help.
“He came to me after we lost Scotty and said he wanted to do this because he knew Scotty would do the same for his family if the positions were reversed,” Diane said. “The Dice Run is overwhelming for me, because of the the level of support and love.
“It’s amazing to see so many people come out and want to help. We feel very blessed.”
This year’s Dice Run will take place Saturday, with registration beginning at 10 a.m. at Faces Saloon. They will then head all over the southeast Kansas area making stops at several bars. Riders will move from Faces Salon to Hogs and Hot Rods in Galena. They will then head to the Cherokee Legion in Cherokee, Pink Pickle in Girard and Pickled Pete's in Frontenac before heading back to Faces for the party.
It is not required to have a motorcycle to participate in the ride. Heckert said last year many people came in other styles of vehicles, and all of which are welcome.
“For those not familiar with a Dice Run, you just roll a dice at each location,” Heckert said. “The person with the highest score at the end of the ride wins, as does the person with the lowest score. So it’s a lot of fun.”
The party at the end of the ride, which is open to everyone, is expected to start about 5 p.m. and will have several events. They will be hosting a burnout contest, two bands and a live auction from Perdue Auctions which will feature hundreds of dollars worth of items.
“We’ve got a great group of prizes, everything from a backyard playset, lots of gift certificates, cool stuff like a 3D sign from Wicked Metal and an exhaust system from Hideout Harley Davidson,” Heckert said.
Heckert said that he was very grateful for all of the people who stepped up to help put the event on.
“We have a lot of great people and businesses involved,” he said “Millers, Mazzios, Hideout Harley, Kansas Crossing Casino, Wicked Metal, the list just goes on.
“We’re very grateful to them for helping us.”
Vanbecelaere’s daughter recently graduated from high school and will be starting Kansas University in the fall. Heckert said he hopes this event not only helps fund her education, but also helps her see how many people care about her family.
“We just wanted to make a difference for a local family,” he said. “We hope the riders come out this year and we have a couple hundred bikes, that would be wonderful.”