Oktoberfest event to raise money for Special Olympics

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published October 7, 2019

 Bob Jantz has led local fundraising efforts for more than two decades to benefit the Special Olympics. This year’s fundraiser is Oct. 12 at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall in Warren.

Bob Jantz has led local fundraising efforts for more than two decades to benefit the Special Olympics. This year’s fundraiser is Oct. 12 at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall in Warren.

Photo provided by Kerry Jantz

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/WARREN — For more than two decades, Bob Jantz has helped raise money for Special Olympics athletes in the Upper Peninsula.

This year is the 23rd annual Hulbert Haulers’ Oktoberfest fundraiser to benefit the Eastern Upper Peninsula Special Olympics squad. The fundraiser normally brings in about $10,000 per year, with proceeds going fully toward the cause.

It will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall, 11304 14 Mile Road in Warren.

Jantz said that in 1984, he knew a few snowmobile riders who rode up north and were involved in helping others. He wanted to be part of the mission, riding his own snowmobile in 1985. He saw the appreciation in the eyes of the athletes.

“That feeling never goes away, from the first time we went up there to the last time,” he said.

He later joined Hulbert Haulers, a snowmobile group he said started in 1982 that helped raise money for the Special Olympics — but not to the extent they do now.

Proceeds go toward things like bowling tournaments, golf tournaments, jackets and swim meets. Some athletes get involved in sports they never previously participated in, such as snowshoeing.

When the Hulbert Haulers team rides around for four or five days in the U.P., they meet the athletes and cheer them on at the events.

“We get to meet the Special Olympics (team) and a lot of them, they’re not only younger people, they’re older too, and have been involved in this for years and years,” Jantz said. “We see the same ones every year. It gives you a really good feeling where your money is going, and your effort is (going).”

About 150 people come out annually for the event, including nearly two dozen members of Jantz’s family. Other friends find out through word of mouth and partake in the event.

“We’ve taken it to a whole new level now,” Jantz said.

Entry costs $25 per person and includes beer, wine, soda, hot dogs, bratwurst, desserts, raffles and more. Those who cannot go but want to donate can do so by providing a tax-deductible donation.

To register or for more information, contact Jantz at (586) 596-0755 or his son, Kerry, at (586) 610-3511.

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