Bikers take off on Flood Run to support Gillette Children’s Hospital

It may be a bit of a chilly day for a motorcycle ride all the way down to Winona, but bikers at the 2022 Flood Run say they are happy to do so because they are supporting a great cause.

Bennett Vavruska is an 11-year-old boy who loves baseball, basketball, the outdoors and hunting — things his parents never knew if he’d be able to do.

“I have spina bifida” Bennett said.

“We were told at birth he was never going to walk,” said his dad, Jon Vavruska.

But today, Bennett is walking, thanks to some help from Gillette Children’s Hospital.

“He’s had 18 surgeries. Though Gillette Children’s doctors and nurses, he’s been able to walk. He walked his stepmom down the aisle at our wedding,” Jon said.

“They’re raising money for people like me,” Bennet said.

The bikers will follow the river down to Winona — fundraising as they go.

Flood Run participants sell wristbands, merchandise and this year’s flood run T-shirt — which Bennett got to design.

A motorcycle marked with a giant “S” for Superman.

“My dad calls me Superman because I’ve had 18 surgeries,” Bennet said.

Gillette Children’s Hospital gets 100% of the proceeds raised to help kids like Bennet, and his family said they are so grateful for the support.