From the Hospice October 2012 Magazine

September 23rd, 2012 Fall MudBog





May 27th, 2012 Memorial Day Weekend MudBog


Updated: 8:05 AM May 21, 2012
Sunday's Mud Bog to generate money for Center for Hospice Care

This Sunday, hundreds of people will gather at Sod Busters of South Bend for the annual Memorial Day Weekend Mud Bog.
Since 2005, monster trucks have gotten dirty and generated more than $40,000 for the Center for Hospice Care.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the event begins at 9 a.m. with mini-mudders.
Admission is $10 and kids under the age of 12 are free.


May 30th, 2011 Memorial Day Weekend MudBog

Posted: 9:11 AM May 27, 2011

Sod Busters to host annual mud bog this weekend
South Bend, Ind.
There will be mud and monster trucks revving their engines, all to raise money for hospice.
Reporter: Joel Schipper
Email Address: joel.schipper@wndu.com

 Memorial Day Mud Bog this weekend

Thousands of people, both young and old, are expected to come out to the western edge of St. Joseph County on Sunday for the annual Sod Busters Memorial Day Mug Bog.

There will be mud and monster trucks revving their engines, all to raise money for hospice.

More than 160 trucks will be tearing through the mud throughout the day at the family-friendly event just off of Quince Road.

“It’s a wonderful afternoon to sit out on a lawn chair on the bleachers we provide and watch the trucks do the best they can to make it through the mud pit,” said organizer Jim Renner. “We will have some that will go five feet and some that will go through in about four seconds.”

During Labor Day weekend another mug bog will be held to benefit Camp Millhouse.



September 12th Fall Mudbog

Updated: 1:05 AM Sep 13, 2010

Mud Bog raises money for Camp Millhouse

South Bend, IN

For some in Michiana, Sunday was a great day for, barbeque, exhaust and a lot of mud!

Posted: 4:28 PM Sep 12, 2010
Sarah Rodts
Email Address: 

For some in Michiana, Sunday was a great day for, barbeque, exhaust and a lot of mud!

It's the annual fall mud bog.

People got to enjoy truck going through the bog while enjoying other food and entertainment.

This is the 20th year that the mud bog has been put on by the Sod Busters.

And like every year, this wasn’t just about fun in the mud.

"We're all having a good time, very safe, they go and get dirty. Just have a good time because it all goes to a good cause, Camp Millhouse," said Jim Renner of Sod Busters.

“It's absolutely huge for us since we're a not-for-profit that is not funded, so we strictly survive on donations from the community, so events like this and groups like the sod buster guys believe that our kids deserve a summer experience...keeps us open, literally keeps us open year around," said Lea Pitcher, the Executive Director of Camp Millhouse.

Sod Busters are hoping to donate nearly $4,000 to Camp Millhouse this year.


Updated: 8:19 AM Sep 10, 2010

Sod Busters holding annual Mud Bog on Sunday
The Sod Busters are holding their annual fall Mud Bog on Sunday.
Posted: 7:45 AM Sep 10, 2010
Reporter: Joel Schipper

This weekend, people will be heading outside to enjoy the sunny weather, and some will even be playing in the mud. The Sod Busters are holding their annual fall Mud Bog.

Everything from trucks to jeeps and monster trucks will drive through the obstacle course and the muddy mess.

Sunday’s event raises money for Camp Millhouse. Representatives from the camp say this event is crucial to the camp's success.

"Organizations like these guys - that's who keeps us going. That's who allows kids to come every year; allows us to stay open. Without them, honest to God, there would not be a Camp Millhouse if it weren't for groups like these guys - there just wouldn't be" says Millhouse's Lea Pitcher.

Nearly 2,000 spectators are expected to come out to the event, so be sure to head out early, because it will fill up fast.

Gates open at 7:00 a.m., and admission is $10. For kids under 12, admission is free.

Mud Bog raises money for Camp Millhouse


May 30th 2010 Memorial day weekend


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People gather to watch another type of racing in South Bend
South Bend, IN
It's racing day in the Hoosier state, only here in South Bend, it's not the same kind of racing that's going on Indianapolis.
Posted: 5:23 PM May 30, 2010
Reporter: Jeff Blevins
Email Address: jeff.blevins@wndu.com

 People gather to watch another type of racing in South Bend
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It's racing day in the Hoosier state, only here in South Bend, it's not the same kind of racing that's going on Indianapolis.

While many in Michiana were watching cars race around the track at the Indianapolis 500, thousands of others were watching cars and trucks race around, in the mud.

At the Sod Busters Annual Memorial Day Mud Bog, drivers raced everything from go karts, to Jeeps and trucks, to see how far they could get, before getting stopped by the mud.

“You know the challenge of going through the mud, seeing people get stuck, or seeing something break down. You know, it's the agony of defeat, the success and joy of seeing someone making it all the way through,” Jim Renner said

It's a day of family-friendly fun, even those too small to ride in the big cars, found a way to get in on the mud bogging action.

For others, racing in the mud bog runs in the family.

“My husband over here broke his arm so I told him I’d run the truck for him,” Jodie Denhartog said.

“I'm going to race a Ford Bronco, '79 Ford Bronco,” Denhartog added.

I know when I get in the truck I’m just going to hit the pedal to the metal and go. You know, go and hope I make it through,” Denhartog said.

Everyone agrees their favorite part, is watching the mud fly. Most importantly, it's all for a good cause.

“The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care has been caring for patients and families with life-limiting illnesses for 30 years,” Debra Mayfield said.

“In 30 years we've never had to turn anyone because they couldn't pay for their service. That’s how this community, these people, help us do that. By donating money like this all year long,” Mayfield added

“We couldn't do that without these kinds of people,” Mayfield said.

“Last year, we gave $7500, this year we're hoping to surpass that due to the record crowd,” Renner said.

The South Bend Sod Busters hold events throughout the year.


Sod Busters holding annual "mud bog" on Sunday
South Bend, IN
The Sod Busters are holding their annual spring Mud Bog on Sunday.
Posted: 4:41 PM May 28, 2010
Reporter: Elise Yahner
Email Address: elise.yahner@wndu.com

 Mud Bog preview live on 16 Saturday Morning

Drivers love getting down, dirty

For Sod Busters, mud bog is tradition.

Tribune Staff Writer
Tribune Photo/ERIN BLASKO
The Memorial Day Weekend Mud Bog in New Carlisle helps to raise money for hospice care in St. Joseph County.

WARREN TOWNSHIP — Hundreds gathered Sunday at the Sod Busters Off The Road Club near New Carlisle for the club's annual Memorial Day Weekend Mud Bog.

The event, which began at 10 a.m., featured nine classes, including one for "Mini Mudders," or kids on unmodified Power Wheels.

"I like the noise," Tanya Yuhas of Constantine, said as she stood near the end of the track dodging mud along with her husband and teenage son. "I like the muffler noise. It's like drag racing."

"It's pretty good," said William Yuhas, Tanya Yuhas' husband. "Now I'm wantin' to do it. I got a '77 Ford four-wheel drive."

For the uninitiated, mud bogging entails powering modified vehicles through a pit of deep mud, hopefully to the other side and terra firma. Stuck vehicles receive an assist in the form of a tractor outfitted with a front-mounted winch.

According to Don Parsons of Kingsford Heights, the sport is all about "power, tires and gears."

"It's got something to do with the driver, too," he said as he stood next to his 1994 Chevrolet S10 pickup, caked from bumper to bumper with light-brown mud the consistency of crude oil, "just cutting the tires and rocking back and forth."

In that case, Parsons' son, Nick Seibert, was the better driver Sunday. The 12-year-old managed to steer through 143 feet of mud to Parsons' 139 feet.

"Yeah, he beat me," Parsons conceded.

A portion of the proceeds from Sunday's event went to The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Joseph County.


September 28, 2008 Labor Day Weekend


Sod Busters holds annual mud race for charity

There's not a prayer of making it through this fundraiser clean, and that's exactly how they like it!

The South Bend Sod Busters held their annual mud race Sunday -- for fun and for charity.

From street cars to custom made trucks, members of the group competed to see who can make it farther, faster.

"At first I'm a little bit nervous," admits young driver Ben Kurtz. "But then I just hit the gas and I go."

"Once you tighten your seatbelts down, you let the clutch out and stand on the pedal, adrenaline pretty much takes over," John Nowacki explains.

Katie Pease decided this was the year to give the race a try, so she brought her street car -- a Jeep -- out to the muddy course.

"I'm expecting, honestly, to probably get stuck, but I'm going to try my hardest to make it through," she told us.

It was a valiant effort, but Katie didn't quite reach the finish. Her new goal was to make it to the carwash -- and eventually the shower.

All the money raised during the event will go to Camp Millhouse, a summer camp for children with disabilities.

Each year, the mud race usually raises about $10,000.

Click here for the article

Monster trucks to tear up sod, benefit local charity

The mud will be flying this weekend for sod busters of Michiana’s annual mud bog.

The event benefits Camp Millhouse, a summer camp for children with developmental and physical disabilities.

Each year hundreds of people turn out to watch large monster trucks tear through mud and pits.

Organizers say it is a fun event for the entire family. all while raising money for a charity right here in Michiana.

“Very loud, very noisy, really a good time. We had some friends come out last year and they said ‘ohh we’ll stay for a few minutes - they were there for 4 hours. They loved it they didn’t want to leave,” said Jim Renner, a mud bog enthusiast.

The event is this Sunday, September 14th.

Click here for the article

Sodbusters Mud Bog

The Mud Bog event helps support the Center for Hospice.

Different levels will compete all day Sunday, ranging from little kids in battery-powered trucks all the way to the big guys.

John Nowacki is the event director for Sodbusters and says, "The first class run is little kids who come with battery powered mini mudders and power wheelers. It's amazing the amount of people who come out, usually it's about 30 parents dragging them out here and the kids are in there and have their own mud pit."

Amy Judd with the Center for Hospice says, "It helps our fund out, which then is money we use to help our patients that aren't able to pay."

For more information on Sunday's event go to www.sodbustersoffroad.com

Click here for the article

Sod-Busters hold weekend off-road rally

It's been a cold, wet weekend—not so good for doing yard work, but great for messing up your yard.

Sod-Busters held their spring On-Road, Off-Road Rally this afternoon.

About 40 drivers made the trek from the South Bend Motor Speedway to the club's property near Darden.

The course was about 50 miles from start to finish. It was made a little shorter than normal to help offset rising gas prices.

“The thing is when your off-roading your locked in four wheel drive, your spinning tires revving the engine up having a good time so yeah, your going to use a little bit more fuel,” said Sod-Busters member Terry Kurtz. “We wanted to keep this small and short enough where people can come out and have fun and not worry about the gas prices so much.”

Sod-Busters is getting geared up for the spring Mud Bog, which is coming up on may 25th.

Click here for the article

Get down and dirty at tons-of-fun holiday Mud Bog


Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND -- Engines will roar and mud will splatter during the South Bend Sod Busters and Pomp's Tire's annual Memorial Day Weekend Mud Bog on May 28.
Official Mike Weaver talks with competitor and truck owner Dawn Masuth in the staging area before the competition in last fall's Mud Bog.
Tribune File Photo
"This is a family friendly event for any 4x4 vehicle," says Jim Renner, the club's public relations manager. Any vehicle is welcome. Some 130 to 150 vehicles competed last year, from families in their Ford Explorers to boggers with customized trucks towed on trailers.

The club goes all out to make sure the whole family has fun, with multiple contests for all ages, complete with an announcer from the South Bend Motor Speedway. Trophies are awarded to winners in all divisions.

For those too young for a driver's license, there's a minimudder, featuring a 15-foot-long mud pit that's about an inch deep -- ideal for kiddie vehicles. Hummer rides around the property also are offered.

"People come to have a good time. They can come out and camp on the grounds (although there's no water or electric hookup). They even bring tents and coolers," Renner says. But the real purpose for getting down and dirty is to raise money for Hospice of St. Joseph County.

"Last year, we raised over $5,700. It's a good cause," Renner says.

One of the most popular events of the day doesn't require a vehicle. It's Dash for Cash. Children and adults get a chance to run through a pit of mud for cash awards. At the end of the event, the winner gets a cash prize, and everyone gets sprayed off with a hose. (So, dress appropriately.)

Gates open at 8 a.m. Cost is $10 for spectators and $15 to compete. Children 12 and younger are free.

Sod Busters' off-road property is on Sycamore Road, just off Darden Road and near the Indiana Toll Road underpass.

To learn more, call (574) 276-5727 or visit www. sodbustersoffroad.com.


Off-road rally tests driving, scavenger skills


Tribune Staff Writer

Feel the grit of dirt in your teeth as the off-road trail thunders under your vehicle during the Sod Busters Spring On/Off Road Rally at 9:30 a.m. April 23 at Auto Zone, 2804 Lincoln Way E., Mishawaka.

The rally is a gentler version of a 4X4 experience.

"This event is for off-road, street-legal 4X4 vehicles like an Explorer, Durango. It's a family-friendly event," South Bend Sod Busters Off the Road Club member Jim Renner says.

This scavenger hunt on wheels begins (rain or shine) with registration between 9 and 11 a.m. at the Auto Zone, where contestants are given a question-and-answer sheet.

Along the route, the teams participate in a kind of scavenger hunt.

"They'll be given clues with a question that will need to be answered, like something they might see that's unique in a particular yard," Renner says about the teams' quest. "The one with the most points will be the winner. ...

"At each check point, (contestants) will be offered an off-road challenge. If they're not comfortable with the challenge, because they think it may damage they're vehicle, they can do something like bob for apples."

Renner says that 90 percent of the event takes place on the road but the off-road challenges can be a lot of fun.

"An off-road event might have the driver blindfolded, while the navigator gives directions as they travel down an obstacle course," he says.

The club has been sponsoring the spring road rallies for more than 10 years. A driver and a navigator are required. Even families with young children in car seats have participated, Renner says.

"This is a nice Saturday afternoon drive around St. Joseph County and into Michigan, and it's a lot of fun," he says. "It's not a speed race. It's for points."

Registration cost is $15 per driver/navigator, $5 per additional passenger, and free for ages 12 and younger, and takes place on the day of the event only.

Contestants should bring a compass, a clipboard, a calculator, binoculars and a pen.

To learn more, call (574) 276-5727, or visit www.sodbustersoffroad.com.


Scavenger hunt on wheels

Trucks and SUVs rally for a Sunday that's full of fun

Tribune Correspondent

When it comes to fun, there's nothing quite like a scavenger hunt.

Put it on four wheels, and extend the route over nearly 100 miles of country roads, and it can get really interesting.

That's just what happened one recent Sunday morning for the South Bend Sod Busters' Spring On/Off Road Rally. Trucks and SUVs of all sizes gathered in the parking lot of the Auto Zone on Lincoln Way East in Mishawaka. The drivers and their navigators signed in, and received a list of clues which would get them to the first checkpoint.

One by one, at timed intervals, off they went, to wander the back roads and test their vehicles on some unusual terrain. The scavenger hunt took them through Osceola, Granger, Edwardsburg, Berrien Springs and Buchanan, ending in New Carlisle.

Tim McClanahan of South Bend climbed into his "big, black GMC extended cab" for the rally. His first time in the Sod Busters' rally, he saw it as a learning experience.

His son, Tim McClanahan II, served as navigator. He mostly does mud bogging with his '98 Chevy short bed, but was looking forward to the challenge of the rally.

Riding along as "nagagator," as the elder McClanahan joked, was Dennis Zell.

"I've done this before," Zell stated, smiling. "I'll get out and hook up the strap so they can pull him out" when the checkpoint tests get too difficult.

Definitely a friendly and lively group, the rally drivers and those riding with them were eager about the event. Masonic lodge brothers Tim Miller and Mike Lewis of Elkhart took Miller's '95 Jeep Cherokee through its paces during the course of the day.

"This is my fourth time," said Lewis. "I'm the navigator and kibbitzer." The idea of wandering down dirt roads or over piles of tires appealed to him because "I work for the railroad, and I like rough rides."

Miller and Lewis belong to Tread Lightly, another four-wheeler's group. "I like to tread lightly through nature without tearing things up," Miller explained. He came to the rally to get out with his friends and enjoy the outdoors.

Promoted as a family event, the road rally brought out many couples and kids. Betsy Williams handed the keys of her 2002 Ford Explorer to her son, Jack Shepp, 18, of New Carlisle for the day.

"He's a good driver," Williams remarked. "He'd probably be more nervous if I was driving."

While Jack's brother, Adam Shepp, 15, of South Bend, served as navigator, Williams planned to ride in the back seat and read the newspaper.

"It's gonna be fun," Jack noted.

Kathy Peterson of North Liberty was hoping, as navigator, not to get her husband, Pete, lost in their "little, wimpy Durango." A member of Sod Busters, Pete was trying the road rally for the first time.

"It's a way to take out aggression," Pete grinned. "It's better than kicking the cat."

Actually, the rules of the rally required drivers to be safe. The drivers had to arrive at the final destination with their drivers license still sealed inside an envelope. If, for any reason, they had to open the envelope, they would be disqualified, according to Mike Filipski, chair for the event.

"It's not a speed competition," added Jim Renner, who drove his H1 Hummer in the rally. The successful completion of the challenges at the checkpoints earned the teams points, which would determine the winners.

The checkpoint at Edgar Wolfe's property at Beech and Cleveland roads challenged the endurance of the competitors. They used Wolfe's own "proving grounds" where he tries out the jeeps and trucks he races off-road to perform three tests.

Hooking a large log onto the front of the vehicle with a strap, the vehicles were driven backward around a curving, dirt track. Then, they drove through a pit of tires. The bravest souls with the most heavy duty trucks even got to climb over a sizable dirt hill.

"We wanted to have something difficult for the guys with the bigger trucks," said Wolfe.

Drivers of smaller vehicles could opt not to do the tests better suited for regular four-wheel drive vehicles. Either way, the task of getting from checkpoint to checkpoint, then to the barbecue at the end, was good, clean fun.

"The vehicles hardly get dirty," Filipski commented.

For some, that doesn't matter. "We build them so they'll take the punishment," said Miller. "The idea is: build it, drive it, repair it, drive it again."


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