(Photo by Tom Strattman)

Legacy Run nets $420,000 ... so far

More than 270 motorcycles and their 56 passengers rolled into the Charlotte, N.C., area this afternoon, bringing with them $420,000 for the children of fallen U.S. servicemembers.

The American Legion Legacy Run, sponsored by USAA, left Indianapolis, Aug. 17, and crossed eight states, traveling more than 1,300 miles before ending up at Legion Post 155 in Kings Mountain, N.C. American Legion Riders participating in the ride raised money for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

More donations to the fund are expected during The American Legion’s 96th National Convention in Charlotte next week. Eight previous Legacy Runs have raised more than $4 million for the fund.

“This says, ‘We have your back,’ whether our servicemembers are living or dead,” said American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger, who rode on a motorcycle the entire length of the Legacy Run. “It’s our charge to take care of their children. It’s what we need to do.”

The Legacy Run traveled through Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina before finishing up near Charlotte. Along the way, the participants battled heavy rains the first two days before sunshine and rising temperatures that hit 100 degrees this afternoon.

"I am amazed by the dedication and commitment these men and women have,” Dellinger said. “To take the time out of their lives to raise money for the Legacy Fund, it’s awesome. I have so much respect for The American Legion Riders.”