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Annual ATV ride honors James Shelifoe Jr.

Dressed in pink t-shirts with his name written on the back, the group of riders started at Hardwood Steakhouse to ride, and show their love and appreciation for their hero.

Since this incident, Shelifoe's family hosted this memory ride to honor his name and share his legacy, by participating in an activity Shelifoe thoroughly enjoyed.
Since this incident, Shelifoe's family hosted this memory ride to honor his name and share his legacy, by participating in an activity Shelifoe thoroughly enjoyed.(Remi Murrey)
Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 7:39 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Mich. (WLUC) - An emotional mother celebrated her son, who died in a disastrous vehicle accident almost four years ago, through an annual ATV memory ride in Covington Saturday. 


“When I pull up and I see everybody, it means a lot to me to see my family, friends and everyone just pull together just to celebrate with us, and do this ride and enjoy the day,” said Sharon Kantola, James Shelifoe Jr.‘s mother.

On August 27, 2016, Kantola and her family experienced their worst nightmare when they learned, 23-year-old James Shelifoe Jr., a Beartown firefighter with the Keweenaw Bay Indian community, died due to an automobile accident in Blaine, Minnesota.


Shelifoe, along with his fellow KBIC firefighters were travelling to Utah to help fight the Box Canyon Fire.

Since this incident, Shelifoe's family hosted this memory ride to honor his name and share his legacy, by participating in an activity Shelifoe thoroughly enjoyed.


“My brother had every type of ride you can think of. He had a dirt bike, a snowmobile, a four-wheeler, and he mainly only rode those motor vehicles,” explained his sister, Ginger Shelifoe. “He never drove a car, and so we wanted to do something every single year to remember him, and we’re like what better way than to do what he loved, with everybody that loved him.”


Dressed in pink t-shirts with his name written on the back, the group of riders started at Hardwood Steakhouse to ride, and show their love and appreciation for their hero.


“Every year it gets bigger,” said Shelifoe’s mother. “We buy shirts, decals, other items and we all just ride.”


While this event brings both sad and happy memories, the family says they’re happy to see the community thrilled to ride in his name.

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