HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — Just last week, an 8-month-old Minneapolis boy kidnapped from his home was found safe after an Amber Alert.
You may have seen the alert posted on highway signs, or even been notified on your cell phone.
According to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, each alert costs between $6,000 to $12,000.
And much of that money is coming from a place you might not expect.
Back in 2002, the topic for a motorcycle group from Hastings was “What charity can we help?”
“They all ride for the same cause, because they all have kids, you know, everybody has a kid somewhere or knows a kid,” said David Trejo, president of the group.
The choice was easy. They would support children in danger and fund raise for the amber alert — the group is appropriately named called Minnesota Amber Alert Fundraiser.
Trejo said group went from a trail of 50 bikes in their annual bike run to some 350 strong.
“When we first started with the BCA, I’m sure they thought it was a joke a little bit,” he said. “But, we proved them wrong.”
And the group has raised $138,000 along the way.
“There’s been a lot of generous people out there,” Trejo said.
One of the group’s biggest donations went to a mother who understands the need for their cause.
On the 22nd anniversary of Jacob Wetterling’s abduction, the group presented an $18,000 check to Patty Wetterling.
“I looked at her and I said, ‘You’re one of the reasons why we are here, for people like you, who have lost somebody,” he said.
Although they may look tough, don’t let the leather fool you.
“We all have that soft spot when it comes to the kids,” Trejo said.
Since 2001, there have been 28 Amber alerts in Minnesota, and in all 28 cases, the child was safely recovered.
The group’s annual run is in early June.