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Motorcycle fundraiser for veterans seeks support

New Castle News - 5/8/2018

May 08--The sight of 200 motorcycles led by the New Castle Police Department and embarking on a ride through Lawrence County to benefit veterans made Missy Russell proud.

"It was amazing and overwhelming to see the amount of support there is for our local veterans and the event itself," Russell said.

That was last August, and more than $13,000 was raised.

This year, Russell, regional veterans services coordinator for Lawrence County Community Action Partnership, is hoping for 300 bikers and to raise $15,000, if possible, for the second annual motorcycle run "Stand Up for Vets" sponsored by LCCAPs' SSVF or Supportive Services for Veterans Families.

The event will be held June 23, starting at Cascade Park and the escorted, no-stop ride will travel about 50 miles of roads throughout the county.

The exact route will be available the week of the event.

This event precedes the Lawrence County's Veterans Stand Down in October, which benefits local homeless veterans, and military members and their families.

All proceeds raised during the bike run go toward the Stand Down, Russell said. She is also chairwoman of that event.

"We want to serve those who served us," she said, adding that once the route is announced, people can plan to stand in their front yards and hopefully raise a flag as the bikers roll past.

"Spectators come to see the riders off, and this year, we want more people. We want to show the veterans in the ride unity and respect."

Donations come from individuals and businesses, and the sororities and fraternities at Westminster College raised money for the cause during Greek Week, Russell said.

"After that, whatever we didn't get from donations, we'll ask for toiletries, food, clothing, blankets, first aid kits and food to serve at the day of the event."

Registration for the event is at 10 a.m., kick stands are up at noon, and food and entertainment will be available after the ride.

The cost is $25 per rider and passengers are $10. Those who preregister with payment before June 9 will receive a free T-shirt.

SSVF, Butler Veterans Administration, Lawrence County ABATE and other veteran/military organizations including VFW Post 315 will be on hand with information for military members and veterans, Russell said.

The event is also held in conjunction with the director of Lawrence County Veterans Affairs.

You can register online at lccap.org or obtain a hard copy form.

Stand Down refers to a community based intervention program designed to provide homeless vets with access to community resources needed to rebuild their lives. At October's Stand Down, homeless veterans and homeless civilians can receive health screenings, hair cuts, clothing and shoes, hygiene products, information and referrals for community resources and a free lunch.

While the ride is going on, police departments from the various municipalities will block off certain intersections so bikers can continue on the no-stop ride, Russell explained.

"People come from all over and come together for a good cause."

Besides helping Stand Down, donations will be beneficial for expanding services such as breakfasts and lunches, she noted.

"That's our vision -- doing more for our local veterans."

lpezzuto@ncnewsonline.com

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(c)2018 New Castle News (New Castle, Pa.)

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