The 2020 American Legion Legacy Run was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean the nation’s highways won’t see a caravan of patriotic American Legion Riders crossing the country by motorcycle and three-wheeler, raising scholarship funds. The Pony Express Ride, involving American Legion departments from California to Indiana, takes off Wednesday, Oct. 7, for a 2,300-mile journey that will wrap up in Indianapolis on Oct. 13.
The ride, like the annual Legacy Run, will benefit the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides college money for the children of U.S. military personnel who lost their lives or became over 50% disabled while on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
Traditionally, Legacy Run checks collected on the ride are presented onstage at the national convention of The American Legion, which this year was forced to cancel due to the pandemic. American Legion Riders across the country have adapted and overcome to find other ways to conduct the ride. Virtual Legacy Runs and in-state rides have sprung up throughout the nation, raising money to assist the students.
The Pony Express Ride begins at Hollywood Post 43 where the California contingent will depart before the sun rises on Oct. 7. As the ride moves east, American Legion Riders from various departments will join in.
The first stop will be at Post 86 in Overgaard, Ariz., where riders from the Department of Arizona will join the group. The morning of Oct. 8, the new group will start one of the longest legs of the journey and make their way to Roswell, N.M.
On Oct. 9, the riders continue their journey to Lubbock, Texas, where participants from the Department of Texas will join in. On Oct.10, it will be a short hop to Oklahoma City to meet riders from the Department of Oklahoma.
The ride is scheduled to reach St. Roberts, Mo., on Oct. 11 where they will prepare for the final leg of the journey. On Oct. 12, the group will have a half-day ride to Plainfield, Ind., just outside of Indianapolis, home of The American Legion National Headquarters.
Presentation of checks to National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford will occur the morning of Oct. 13, 2020, in front of national headquarters building.
“We ride to show our determination to meet the mission and to honor our pledge to the children and their parents,” American Legion Riders Advisory Committee Vice Chairman Steve Ridenour explained of the event.
There is still time to donate to the Legacy Scholarship Fund and have it count toward this year’s Legacy Run.
Because of current restrictions and precautions, the Pony Express Ride will not be collecting checks along the route like the Legacy Run normally does. Donations may be made online by visiting legion.org and clicking on the button to donate to the virtual Legacy Run. Or go directly to https://www.legion.org/riders/legacyrun/donation to make a gift .