In just over a month, more than 200 particpants already have registered online for the 2017 American Legion Legacy Run.
This year’s ride will leave Fort Dodge, Kan., Aug. 12 and travel west to Reno, Nev. – site of the 2017 American Legion National Convention. The route will take Riders along U.S. Route 50 through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Once a major cross-country conduit, Route 50 now is known as the "The Loneliest Road in America" during a stretch through Nevada.
"It's beautiful country, and it's going to be a very interesting ride," Legacy Run Chief Road Captain Bob Sussan said. "But unfortunately, there are not many big Legion posts along U.S. 50. So we've had to be a bit creative."
Because of the route and the distance needed to be covered, there won't be lunch stops at Legion posts. Ride participants are encouraged to purchase lunches during registration; those who do not pre-purchase the lunches will be expected to bring their own food each day and safely transport it.
Meals must be ordered in advance of departure. There will be no food available for purchase on stops, and there will be neither time nor available food outlets for riders to leave the group to find and eat lunch on their own each day. Those who do not sign up for lunches during registration but later decide to add them can do so via email.
And in order to speed up organized fuel stops, pre-payment for fuel is mandatory on this year’s ride. Pre-payment is based on a formula assuming riders will fill up their motorcyles on their own each night and come to the morning rally with a full tank of gas.
There will be a dinner stop at Legion Post 2 in Pueblo, Colo., as well as a wreath laying at the city's Medal of Honor Memorial. And in Green River, Utah, a town with 30-40 veterans among its population of around 900, the Riders will help dedicate a new veterans memorial.
Sussan said that officers from the Garden City, Kan., Police Department will provide safety training at Fort Dodge the day before the ride departs. Those taking the training will receive a certificate that will provide an insurance discount. And the Kansas Soldiers Home, located at Fort Dodge, also will provide an evening meal and morning breakfast for the kickoff of the Run.
The USAA-sponsored Legacy Run raises money for The American Legion Legacy Fund, which provides college money for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50-percent or higher.
Last year's Legacy Run raised more than $1 million for the third straight year; in 11 years, the ride has raised more than $7 million.
Those registering online will be provided with a copy of their registration and release form, as well as a confirmation email. Those preferring to print out and mail a registration form with a check or money can send so via email. A downloadable registration form will be available soon.
Registration packets and commemorative patches are expected to be mailed out in early August. To pre-order Legacy Run T-shirts, click here. These orders will be shipped directly from Emblem Sales.
Registration is open to passengers and riders, as well as to non-riding supporters. Non-riding supporters who register for $25 or more will receive the full registration package with map books and patches.
Check back at www.legion.org/riders for updated route information and hotel suggestions within the next few weeks.