When the first Legacy Run left Indianapolis and headed to Salt Lake City 10 years ago, its participants had a goal of raising $50,000. That ride netted more than three times the goal. And that was just the start.
On Sept. 1, more than $812,000 was donated to the Legacy Run during the Legion’s national convention in Baltimore. That brought the total for this year’s Run to a record $1,249,684.13 for The American Legion Legacy Fund, which provides college scholarships for the children of fallen military personnel who died on active duty on or since Sept. 11, 2001.
“I want everyone in here to stand now and give a great ovation to what a great group they are,” Helm said of the Riders after announcing the donation total.
Hundreds of American Legion Riders took part in the four-day Legacy Run – which left Indianapolis on Aug. 23 and covered more than 1,000 miles through Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania before arriving in Maryland. They collected more than $436,000 prior to and during the ride.
Once in Baltimore, the donations poured in. The Department of Florida donated $173,000, which included $93,000 raised by the collaboration of Post 323 (Lehigh Acres), and Adam Sandoval and his “Scootin America” cross-country trip visiting Harley-Davidson posts.
Another $103,754 came from the Department of Minnesota, $64,566 from the Department of Missouri, $59,050 from the Department of Wisconsin, $54,000 from the Department of New York and $52,512 from the Department of South Carolina.
American Legion Post 593 in Converse, Texas, donated $50,000, and in doing so surpassed $300,000 in total donations made to the Legacy Run since its start.
In 10 years, the Legacy Run has raised more than $6 million for the Legacy Fund.
“The Riders are the only program that encompasses the Legion, the Sons of The American Legion and Auxiliary,” said Bob Sussan, chairman of The American Legion Riders Advisory Committee. “From the onset, the Riders have adopted the Legacy Scholarship Fund, and annually we ride for the children of our fallen brothers and sisters.”