Indianapolis has served as the starting point for all six Legacy Runs. But with Indianapolis slated to host the 2012 American Legion National Convention, obviously a different approach needed to be taken. And now, plans are being made to finalize the 2012 Run.
The American Legion Riders Ad-Hoc Committee has devised a plan that will incorporate a three-day ride with a three-day expo in Indianapolis, and then culminate with the Riders leading off the annual national convention parade.
The American Legion Legacy Run Home begins Aug. 21 with the National Commander's Ride, which will start in upstate New York in the home department of National Commander Fang Wong. The riders will escort Wong along the 850-mile Run that will traverse Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. A highlight of the planned Run is a special visit to Garden City, Mich., to pay tribute to the founding chapter of The American Legion Riders at Garden City American Legion Post 396. From there the Ride will travel across Michigan and Indiana before approaching Indianapolis from the west, arriving at Speedway Post 500 on the afternoon of Aug. 23.
The American Legion Riders Expo will run from Aug. 23-25 and will feature a planned series of American Legion Rider social events, such as range and classroom training, Rider program development courses, skills training and Motorcycle Safety Foundation exhibitions. Stout Army Air Field and the Joint Forces Headquarters of the Indiana National Guard will provide two hangers, parking, range areas and classrooms to host the events. Dinners, concerts and other activities will be held at area American Legion posts, and the expo will end with a candlelight night ride in downtown Indianapolis and a special ceremony for Legacy Scholarship recipients and their families at the Indiana War Memorial.
The expo has been designed to be family-friendly. Busses will provide transportation for Legion family members to Stout Field for the expo, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is setting up a bonding course that riders of all ages can experience, as well as providing virtual motorcycles to ride. National Guardsmen and active-duty servicemembers will ride the provided courses and participate in the night ride and Legacy ceremony.
The three goals of the expo are to develop skills through a lifelong learning model, to share ideas and to facilitate meetings to share best practices. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police drill team will be doing rider demonstrations, and the setting up of poker runs benefitting Roudebush VA Medical Center and Riley Hospital for Children is in the works.
The American Legion National Convention Parade will take place on Aug. 26 and lead off with American Legion Riders. All American Legion Riders are invited, and there is no registration fee.
Registration for the 2012 event is now available online at https://www.legion.org/riders/registration. Expo registration is free to all Commander's Ride participants. Riders who choose not to participate in the Ride but wish to attend the American Legion Rider Expo may register separately.
Dates for all 2012 American Legion Legacy Run Home activities are:
• Aug. 20 - Assembly for The American Legion Legacy Run Home near Buffalo/Niagara Falls, N.Y.• Aug. 21-23 - The National Commander's Ride.• Aug. 23-25 - The American Legion Riders Expo, Indianapolis• Aug. 26 - The 94th Annual National Convention Parade
The 2011 Legacy Run raised $668,738.39 for the Legacy Fund. To date, six Legacy Runs have netted more than $2.6 million for the fund, which provides college scholarships for the children of U.S. servicemembers killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.