With just two weeks remaining in The American Legion’s 100 Miles for Hope challenge, American Legion Family members are being called upon to reach the 5,000-participant mark.
“This is an excellent way to support America’s veterans and children of military families,” Legion Riders Chairman Mark Clark said. “Not everyone would be able to walk, run or ride a bicycle for 100 miles in the next two weeks. However, American Legion Riders are able to support this worthwhile fundraiser with a 100-mile ride or a couple of shorter ones.”
Clark also suggested that participating Riders chapters could turn a 100-mile ride into a benefit for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship. Each year the scholarships are awarded to children of post 9/11 veterans who were killed or received a disability rating of 50 percent or greater on active duty.
With the annual Legacy Ride canceled this year, Riders have been continuing to raise funds via the Virtual Legacy Run that goes through Dec. 31.
“When it’s crunch time, American Legion Riders always step up for veterans, military families in need and children,” Clark said. “Now is the time when Riders can demonstrate their commitment and support their fellow veterans and children who need our help.”
Already Riders chapters have met the 100-mile challenge. Among the examples:
• In Iowa, a dozen Riders completed 250 miles
• In California, American Legion Riders Chapter 484 completed a 122-mile roundtrip from Simi Valley, Calif., to Carpinteria, Calif.
To join the challenge, participants first sign up at Emblem Sales. For a $30 registration fee, they will receive a slick tech shirt (available in men’s, women’s and children’s cuts), a sign to display and a certificate of accomplishment when they finish. Roughly 50 percent of the $30 fee will go toward V&CF after figuring in costs for the shirts, shipping, etc.
Clark’s call follows that of American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford, who launched his challenge Aug. 3 and more recently encouraged members to reach the 5,000 mark.
Oxford said that reaching the 5,000-participant threshold would drive even more donations to the Legion’s Veterans & Children Foundation (V&CF), which covers the costs of American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance grants for military and veteran families with children at home who are facing severe hardships, as well as funding to train American Legion service officers, who provide free representation to veterans applying for government benefits.
As the campaign winds down, American Legion posts are encouraged to create celebratory Veterans Day events for members while keeping local social distancing rules in mind. If your post is planning an event, let us know.