The American Legion Riders went out on a record note in fundraising for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund for the final time.
With more than $880,000 being donated on The American Legion National Convention floor in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 29, this year’s Legacy Run raised a record $1,551,631 – smashing last year’s record by more than $227,000. All told, the Riders have raised nearly $20 million for the fund after adding in this year’s total.
More than $667,000 was raised during and prior to the Legacy Run, including $211,000 from The American Legion Department of Maryland and $121,000 from the Department of Virginia. And then on the national convention floor, another $884,000 was presented.
The Department of Minnesota American Legion Family led the way with $162,000, while both Indiana and Michigan each donated more than $83,000. Also among the top donors on Tuesday were South Carolina with nearly $79,000, California and Missouri with more than $67,000 and Ohio with more than than $57,000.
“We believe that we’re a rolling billboard for The American Legion,” said Legacy Run Chief Road Captain Mark Clark, the chairman of the Riders’ National Advisory Committee. “We represent the best of us to all with whom we come in contact with. The national Legacy Run is much more than a once-a-year event. It also serves as a catalyst for department Legacy Runs and fundraising activities that occur all across the nation all year long.
“Since accepting this message in 2006, the American Legion Riders has raised more than $18 million to support (the Legacy Fund). Thanks to your generosity, we’re making dreams come true and fulfilling the promise we made back in 2001 to never forget the children of the fallen and those who have come home carrying both the visible and invisible scars of war. None of this would have been possible without the entire American Legion Family.”
Starting next year, the Legacy Run will raise funds for the Veterans & Children Foundation, which funds the Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance, and training and accreditation costs for American Legion service officers.
“With the passage of the PACT Act, there’s never been a time when we needed more trained and certified service officers, and The American Legion is rising to meet that challenge,” Clark said. “The American Legion Riders will assist in that effort. We need to support this foundation because it saves lives by providing veterans and children with the hope of a brighter future.
“I’m going to ask you to stick with us and help us make this transition a successful one. Because once the Riders say something can happen, it can happen.”