Riders from across the Department of Virginia recently completed a two-day event known as the Virginia In State Legacy Scholarship Run. As you know, the American Legion Riders (ALR) ride to fulfill an obligation to the Veterans who have given their lives, or have been significantly disabled (more than 50%), safeguarding our freedoms. The mission is simple; they ride so the children of those Veterans will be able to secure a college education. Their sport is dangerous; there is no way to change that. But with proper equipment, well-practiced skills, heads-up riding, proper attitude and the understanding that they are responsible for their own safety, they complete their rides safely.
This year required extra skill as the temperatures rose over the 100-degree mark. But that did not discourage them from gathering over 120 bikes for a 595-mile trip throughout Virginia.
Despite the harsh conditions, the spirits of the riders were buoyed at each stop along the way as they received donations for the cause. While water was essential to keeping the riders hydrated, their biggest boost came from the most unlikely sources. While all the donations received were important, Rider Lester Brewer highlighted one particularly memorable event that occurred at one of the gas stops. After explaining the purpose of the bikes and the ride to some parents at the gas stop, the young man that was with them gave Lester one dollar. While the dollar amount pales in comparison to the total collected, it was most likely significant to the young man who donated. Lester recounted the event the following day and presented the dollar to Randy Gunn, ALR Virginia Assistant Director Eastern Region.
On Friday, July 19, 2020 the ride started at 8:00 AM at Highland Springs Post 144 in Sandston, VA. As they passed through Crewe, VA, they stopped for fuel at the Citgo Gas Station on Virginia Avenue. They were greeted by Councilwoman Wendy Bowen who had a proclamation from town Mayor Greg Eanes to be presented to Legionnaire Jim Althouse, Chairman of the Virginia American Legion Riders. The proclamation declared the 19th of July 2019 as American Legion Rider Day in the town of Crewe.
The Riders continued on to American Legion Post 74 in Charlottesville, VA after completing the first 189 miles of the first day. There they were met by many well-wishers and were provided Lunch at the Post. They were greeted by Department of Virginia Commander AB Brown.
After a refreshing stop for lunch, the Riders then traveled to their end of day stop at Post 21 in Winchester, VA.
On Saturday, 20 July they started by travelling to Barnett Memorial Park in Winchester, VA. Here the Riders had a dual wreath laying ceremony at both Korean War Memorial and the POW/MIA Memorial. The wreaths were made and donated by Kim Grobarcik, Adjutant, Post 2 Riders.
After the ceremony at Barnett Memorial Park in Winchester, VA the Riders proceeded to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, VA (at James Madison University). Here they again held a memorial event presenting a wreath at the Veterans Memorial.
After the ceremony at Barnett Memorial Park in Winchester, VA the Riders proceeded to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, VA (at James Madison University). Here they again held a memorial event presenting a wreath at the Veterans Memorial.After the Harrisonburg memorial event the Riders headed to Post 156 in Orange, VA. Here they stopped for lunch to get fueled up for the final leg of their journey. They then proceeded to Post 320 in Spotsylvania, VA where the ride officially ended.
A special thanks goes out to the all of the American Legion Riders who participated and made this a success. Special plaques were presented to Highland Springs Posts 144, Charlottesville Post 74, Winchester Post 21, Orange Post 156, and Spotsylvania Post 320 for their superior support of this year’s Virginia In State Legacy Scholarship Run. Over 25 Certificates of Appreciation were presented throughout the ride for significant support provided to the Virginia In State Legacy Scholarship Run.
There are too many people to list individually who participated in making this such a terrific event. Through the hard efforts of many Legionnaires the Ride was a total success surpassing the $25,000 donated last year for the National American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.
There will be a special wreath laying at the Lee County Veterans Memorial Wall in Cumberland Bowl Park on August 21, 2019 that is part of the National American Legion Legacy Scholarship run stopover at Jonesville, VA. At the conclusion of the ceremony the Virginia American Legion Riders group will be presenting a check for the funds raised to the National Commander.