5-day motorcycle ride to benefit children of fallen military

The American Legion’s Legacy Run is expecting its motorcycle-riding participants to form in record numbers this year for the annual cross-country motorcycle ride that raises scholarship money for the children of military personnel who have died on active duty since Sept. 11, 2011. The cavalcade of Riders will come together to enjoy camaraderie and an esprit de corps that they knew in the military, but their ultimate intention is to help the children of their fallen brothers-in-arms.

The Legacy Run, which starts in Indianapolis on Aug. 18 and ends in Houston on Aug. 22, broke and went well beyond its fundraising goal last year, when donations totaled $724,524 - well above the $400,000 goal set prior to the Run. In its seven years of existence, the Legacy Run has raised more than $3.3 million in scholarship monies to be awarded to children who have lost parents in the modern war era.

A $450,000 goal has been set for this year’s Legacy Run and is again expected to be met and exceeded, as nearly 400 motorcyclists are expected to participate in the 1,500-mile trek. The increased turnout is indicative of the Legacy Run’s growing importance among the collective conscience of motorcycle-riding veterans and military supporters.

Donations are put into The American Legacy Scholarship Fund, which has amassed $7.6 million in principal. The interest is then taken from the principal and used to fund scholarships for some of the estimated 11,000 children who have lost parents in military service since 9/11. Nearly $350,000 in scholarships have been awarded to these children since 2004. The scholarships are given on a yearly basis and are renewable at the end of each academic term.

In all, 130 scholarships have been awarded to college-bound youth. Recipients include young professionals like Jennifer Clapp and Taylor Curry, who have used aid from the Legacy Scholarship to pay for college and gone onto successful careers. Clapp, whose father died in 2004 in a helicopter crash, now works in the banking industry. And Curry, whose father died on active duty after 23 years of service, lives and works in New York in the photography business after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design.

To read more about the Legacy Scholarship Fund, its requirements and to learn how to apply, visit the Legion’s Legacy Scholarship FAQ page.

Motorcycle riders who are interested in participating in the Legacy Run can register online by Aug. 9. Riders may join the Run at any lunch, dinner or event stops on the route. For requirements on participating, visit the registration page.

Additionally, non-riders may register and support the event. For a $25 or greater donation, an individual can become a non-riding supporter and receive a full map book set of the 2013 course and 2013 American Legion Legacy Run patches.