Riding for a legacy
The streets of Fallon were filled with the roar of 400 motorcycles Wednesday evening as the 12th annual Legion Riders Legacy Run rolled into town.
The group stopped in Fallon on its way to Reno for the American Legion national convention, which starts today. The riders began their trip in Fort Dodge, Kansas, last week — part of the tradition of the ride is to start in a different town and ride across the country to the convention.
According to Bob Sussan, chairman of the National Legion Riders Advisory Committee and chief road captain of the ride, all the riders are veterans or the children of veterans.
The ride also is intended as a fundraiser for a scholarship the American Legion provides for families of veterans who served since 9-11. The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund goes to families who struggle to afford a college education and can be used to attend graduate, undergraduate or trade school for six years.
“An education is a powerful way to show our thanks,” states the Legion’s statement on the scholarship.
All of the money collected by the fundraising effort goes to the scholarship. The American Legion absorbs any administrative costs associated with the fund.
As of Wednesday, Sussan said the legion had raised about $500,000 and planned to do more fundraising during the convention Tuesday. Their goal each year is to break the $1.1 million mark.
“These Legion Riders are dedicated to taking care of the children of the fallen and the children of the disabled,” Sussan said, noting the Legion Riders are a club who have events year round. “We do things to promote the goals and the aims of the American Legion.”
In Fallon, the group had dinner at American Legion Post 16 before spending the night. On Thursday, they rode south to enter Reno through Carson City. RJ Smith, the public relations coordinator of the ride, said they designed their routes to avoid the interstates where possible and noted I-80 traffic could be an issue with their large group.
During the ride, Sussan said some people have joined them to ride for the day. He said the overall community support has been great with communities coming out to greet them. He added the ride went well, with nice weather and no incidents along the way.
“It really gives you renewed faith in America,” Sussan said. “And (Fallon) is a great town too; it’s really nice.”
For more information on the Legacy Ride, the American Legion, the scholarship or to make donations, go to http://www.Legion.org.