Today was the big day! Legion Riders arrived at Post 64 in Indianapolis from all over the United States. Old friends and new friends registered and began to share stories! People with names like 'Sarge', 'Top', 'Casper', 'Top Hat', 'Patches', 'The Colonel', and 'Socko'.
Ruth & Charlie from Michigan
Post 64 Parking Lot
The parking lot began filling up with every kind of bike imaginable. Lots of Harleys, BMW's, Gold Wings, even a Boss Hoss Trike (with a Corvette looking rear end) and a Volkswagen 'stretched' Trike. One sidecar, a couple of bikes that look like they were made from several bikes but one thing in common - all Legion, Auxiliary, and Son's of the American Legion members- Legion Riders - riding for a common goal...to raise money for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.
At 3:00 pm there was a Road Captain meeting where T.J. Haines and 'Uncle' Dick Wood laid out the safety issues and guidelines that will govern our ride to Phoenix. Each year T.J. and his crew from Texas work out all the logistics for these rides and
'Uncle' Dick is the Head Road Captain.
They really stressed that the mission of this ride is to promote the American Legion Legacy Scholarship, to arrive in Phoenix safely, and have fun.
The Department of Michigan called all Afghanistan and Iraq Vets up to the podium and presented them with a special award for their service. Very awe inspiring that there were 10 that are going to be on the ride.
Post 64 hosted a wonderful pulled pork dinner (no cost to the riders!) and really showed great hospitality to this group. T.J. and Uncle Dick addressed the packed room to make sure that everyone understood the Mission of the ride and did a Safety brief.
Remember, first year, approximately 65 riders rode all the way from Indianapolis to Salt Lake City, last year about 100 riders rode the whole way to Reno, and this year there will be approximately 150 bikes making the entire ride to Phoenix. There are more challenges with more bikes but also more chances for making lasting friends and raising even more money for the Fund!
Following the meeting Commander Kenny Hoffman welcomed the Legacy Run riders and congratulated everyone on their dedication. A.J., the representative for the Department of Indiana also welcomed everyone. The National S.A.L. Commander also spoke and thanked all the Legion Riders gathered.
The highlight of the evening was when young Samantha Smith had a donation of $1,000.00 for the Scholarship Fund raised out of her own allowance and help from the community. What dedication from such a wonderful young lady.
By 7:00 pm most of the Riders were ready to get their bikes gassed up, get back to the Hotel and make sure their gear and bikes are ready for our 7:30 am departure tomorrow. However, those that could not wait, turned in the first donations for the fund.
Keep monitoring this blog as well as http://www.legion.org/ for updates on the run and the donation tally.
Siging off: Flamingo Tina