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Chasing a dream on the river

Because one man pursued a dream, the Rock Falls River Chase will return to the Twin Cities this weekend. We encourage the community to turn out in droves to watch the boat races and have a good time.

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 10:44 a.m. CDT
(SVM file photo)
In a photo from July 2005, boat racers make one of two turns along the course on the Rock River during Rock Falls’ annual River Chase at Seward Park. The long-dormant River Chase returns this weekend, with races scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Those who doubt the power of one person's ability to accomplish big things should hear the story of Terry Hicks.

The Rock Falls man has a job and a family and keeps busy with both.

But he is not too busy to restore a summer tradition to the region.

Interested in his community, Hicks wondered whatever happened to the Rock Falls River Chase – the annual 2-day powerboat races formerly staged on the Rock River at Seward Park. The last race was about 7 years ago.

Curiosity got the better of him, and he began to investigate.

One thing led to another, and before Hicks knew it, he had single-handedly taken on a project to bring back the boat races.

And now, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Rock Falls River Chase will be hopping with high-speed boat races, food, drinks, and other activities for the family.

The Marine Racing Club of Illinois agreed to participate.

The Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce has been supportive.

The Rock Falls Fire Department is helping, too. Firefighters will drag the waterway between the two dams, where the boats will run, to remove logs and other debris. Boats will be tested from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

Then comes the weekend, when up to 75 stock outboard racers will compete for supremacy in various classes over 2 days.

And it will all be because one person got an idea and was willing to work hard to make it a reality.

We encourage the community to support Terry Hicks' dream by turning out in droves to watch the races and enjoy the riverfront festivities. Admission, by the way, is free.

And we congratulate Hicks, and those who are supporting him, for making it all possible.

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