Roll out your motorcycles to fundraise for veterans and military family relief
GERING — The public is invited to roll out their motorcycles for a trip around the area in support of local veterans in need.
The second annual Veterans Ride is coming up on Sunday, June 9. Proceeds from the ride go to support the Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization.
The organization provides financial support and aid to area veterans and military families that run into emergency situations. It might be to pay for rent or utilities, car repairs, food, medicine or other basic needs.
More than 95% of proceeds go directly to help veterans in the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming areas.
“I have several veterans in my family,” said event organizer Denise Cline. “It’s really tough on veterans returning from deployment and sometimes don’t get the help they need from the Veterans Administration. I do whatever I can to make sure they get that help.”
She said the need to help returning veterans is great. “We’re up to 28 cases of diagnosed PTSD every day among veterans. And the homeless veterans out there; that’s something that shouldn’t be happening. They should have a home to come back to when they’ve been discharged.”
Dave Wolf is a board member of the Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization.
“I’m part of a Gold Star family and want to do anything I can to give back to veterans,” Wolf said. “They give so much of their lives for us and we need to help take care of them when they come home. It’s our way of saying thank you.”
He said the sacrifices made by returning veterans can surface in many different struggles. It might be the inability to keep a job, marital problems, financial issues and other stresses.
“More veterans are coming forward and saying they need help,” Wolf said “Our organization has seen an increase every single year we’ve been involved. We hope that more people are using us to help get over those stressful times. We want to be a backstop for them.”
The inaugural Veterans Ride raised $3,000 for the relief organization, which distributed $35,000 in aid last year alone.
Registration for the Veterans Ride runs from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Oregon Trail Roadhouse on M Street in Gering. Entry fee is $15 per person or $20 for a couple.
An Honor Guard from American Legion Post 36 will open the event, along with a 13-fold flag ceremony to honor our fallen heroes.
From Gering, riders head south to Beer and Loathing in Kimball, then east to The Rock in Sidney. Riders then travel north to Bridgeport for a stop at Frankie’s Bar, then continue west to the Pink Palace in McGrew before heading back to the Oregon Trail Roadhouse in Gering.
“We’ll have a 50-50 raffle and a poker hand at all the stops me make,” Cline said. “At the end of the run, we’re having a hog roast and a live auction. Miss Wyoming Earth will also be joining us.”
She said the run is for two or four wheels, motorcycles or cars. A limousine has also been donated for the day for anyone who hasn’t ridden in one.
“I hope everyone comes out and makes it a fun day,” she said. “Let’s give back a little to help our veterans.”