On September 9, 2017, 74 motorcycles and their riders gathered at the Bluegrass Harley Davidson in Louisville, Kentucky to begin a 2-day ride through Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The riders rode to French Lick, Indiana and stayed overnight before continuing their ride back to Louisville in the morning to meet up with more riders and finish the ride at the U.A.W. Local 862 Hall on Fern Valley Road. In total, the two-day ride had 74 bikes and the one-day ride in Louisville had 87 bikes.
The event was organized by Riders for Heroes, a committee that raises money and awareness for Active Heroes, a 501c3 charity whose mission is to end veteran suicide by providing support and resources to veterans and their families. When all of the riders returned to the hall on September 10th, there was a rally from the afternoon into the evening. There were several hundred people in attendance, in addition to the riders. In attendance were Chicago and Detroit U.A.W. locals along with some International union representatives.
The event was a huge success and included three live bands, a motorcycle show, food and drinks, and a silent auction. The event also included a special introduction of a union member that is currently facing stage 4 bladder cancer. This member was given the chance to visit and stay at the Active Heroes Retreat Center and spoke on stage at the event. It was a great way to show support to this member and was inspirational for everyone in attendance. While the amount of money raised is still being totaled, the committee is hoping to beat last year’s total of $42,000.
The next Riders for Heroes event took place on Sunday, September 17th and was another successful event. Due to the major success of these events and previous events, there are already talks of another ride next year. “We are in the planning stages for next year’s rally, which should be the second weekend in September” says Glenn Bennett, Vice-President of Riders for Heroes. Aside from next year’s official rally, the Riders for Heroes group will have several motorcycle rides in the near future for all members and anyone else that would like to attend. “These rides will be what we call “Fun Rides” and will just have a starting point and time”, says Bennett.
If you are interested in learning more about Riders for Heroes’ events with Active Heroes, please visit https://activeheroes.org/events.