Huntley Fire Capt. John Winkelman was known as a devoted family man who also loved his friends and his job.
Capt. “Winky” had another love — his Harley.
So, it’s fitting that his friends and colleagues are dedicating the sixth annual "Shop with a Cop" Donut Run to Winkelman.
“He was always into motorcycles, it was part of him,” Winkelman’s widow, Lynn said. He was also a big Harley fan. “We have a big selection of Harley shirts to prove it.”
Lynn Winkelman and her family will be on hand for the McHenry County Police Charities Donut Run on Saturday, July 14, at Woodstock Harley-Davidson, 2050 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock.
The event is not a regular motorcycle run — it’s geared toward families, and there will be many activities for children, she said.
“I thought it was really thoughtful,” Lynn said of the dedication.
Winkelman died in April, when his motorcycle was struck by a car on Route 176. The veteran firefighter received a departmental funeral attended by dozens of members of area fire departments.
His death shook his family and friends at the department.
The family is “doing OK. It’s one day at a time,” Lynn said.
“The firemen have all been real supportive,” she continued. Huntley Area Fire Protection firefighters have taken over caring for the old Civil War cemetery in Marengo that Winkelman took care of for years, she said. Winkelman is buried there.
Many of Winkelman’s friends will be on hand for Saturday’s Shop with a Cop Donut Run.
After this tragic event, the McHenry County Police Charities wanted to dedicate this year’s ride to Capt. Winkelman, said board member Aimee Knop.
Winkleman and his family “are dedicated to the community through public service and have a passion for motorcycling riding. We only saw it was fit to do this, bringing the police and fire families together to pay this tribute," she said.
“He was a huge motorcycle advocate,” said Knop, who knows Lynn. “He loved to ride his (Harley). He’s was a public servant. We thought it was a perfect fit.”
Proceeds from the motorcycle run and registration help less-fortunate kids in McHenry County by pairing them up with a police officer for a fun-filled day of shopping as part of the Christmas Shopping Program. In 2011, more than 200 children participated, according to a release.
Proceeds from food and raffles will benefit the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp "I Am Me.”
Additional sponsors include Woodstock Harley-Davidson, Wal-Mart, Rita Corporation, Sage Products, PB & PA Unit 192, Iron Justice McHenry County, Woodstock Professional & Business Women, and Country Donuts.
Registration is ongoing and riders can register at the event. The cost is $20 for a single rider, $25 for a double rider. The route is about two hours long.
The event is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Public activities include lunch, K-9 demonstrations, motorcycle demo, squad show, and a doughnut-eating contest. The Illinois Department of Transportation also will be promoting its motorcycle safety program.
"The kids love it," Knop said about the doughnut-eating contest.
Raffle tickets are also for sale for $20. First-place prize is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or $10,000 cash. Tickets will be available for purchase the day of the event.
For more information, call Knop at 815-334-4735 or go to McHenry County Charities’ website.