The Post #98 American Legion Riders, which boasts 20 members, invite community members across the county to join them on their Charity Fun Run on Saturday, June 1. This will be the second ride organized by the group as they look to give back to the children and youth of the area through their various projects and donations that they make. The registration starts at 10 a.m. with a $15 registration fee per person and kickstands up at noon.
By Melissa Anderson
“We’ve got a fantastic Post here, small community, they love the Legion. It all works out really, really well,” Newly-elected American Legion Riders President Jeremy Schuler said.
The riders come from many different communities across the area, some as far away as Streeter and Fargo. Some of the officers of the American Legion Rider’s include Michelle Anderson, secretary and Corban Gage, treasurer. Road Captain Steve Anderson explained that the reason for such wide-spread members is that there are only a few Legion Riders clubs in the state. The one common trait the members share is that they are all Legionnaires in some form. Legion Riders must be either American Legion, Sons of American Legion or American Legion Auxiliary members to join.
“Our chapter started with three members, and it’s grown from there. We have six or seven individuals that are interested in joining our chapter. We foresee this chapter growing by leaps and bounds within the state,” Anderson said. “If we are not the largest chapter in the state -we are almost right there.”
Schuler and Anderson shared that this club is not like most clubs where there are a lot of members and only a few that actually participate and are actively involved. All the members have provided input on the event and the plans for the future of any funds that are raised.
“This community, we all know is awesome, as far as giving. They are giving so that we can give back to the kids,” Schuler said.
The riders of Post #98 focus primarily on how they can help the children and youth of the local communities- from the Christmas Cheer program started by the American Legion several years ago to now providing scholarships to graduating seniors. The Riders are looking to provide as much as they can to the area.
“We decided to bring this charity ride back because we need to raise some money cause we don’t have much money to give back to the community,” Schuler said. “This is the time to make up that money so we can give it back and keep it local.”
Already the Riders have received donations from the local community and as far away as Jamestown. From gift baskets, prize packages, and monetary donations, the 2019 Charity Fun Run has something for everyone. Jamestown Harley Davidson has donated two gift certificates and the Sky Dancer Casino provided two a one room/one meal combos for attendees to try and win. There is no silent auction held, but instead a Chinese auction is held. Schuler explained that the way a Chinese auction works is that those interested in bidding buy tickets and then place their ticket or however many tickets they want depending on how badly they want the item into a cup. At the end of the auction each items cup will have one ticket pulled, and the holder of that ticket is the winner of the item.
“We raised good money through this last year, and it’s a fair way of doing it as everybody has a chance- some more than others depending on how many tickets they put in the cup,” Schuler said.
Some of the monetary donations garnered prior to the event will be used locally to purchase even more prize baskets. Schuler and Anderson stressed that “our whole thing is that this is for local children, local charities, so we buy local.”
“If the community can donate money to our charity, then by gosh we are going to buy local. There is no question about that whatsoever,” Anderson said.
As the event grows and expands its reach, Schuler and Anderson did concede that this may have to change to accommodate the other areas as well and their generosity. At this point, the Post #98 American Legion Riders can still say that what is given back is from and to Cavalier County.
“The more money we raise, the more we can help. The more people we can help, the more kids we can help to have something,” Schuler said.
For this reason, the Riders are looking at different way they can fundraise but also help, specifically those organizations that help children. The Legion Riders of Post #98 has donated thus far to the Christmas Cheer program and the food pantry, along with providing a scholarship for the first time this year with hopes to have the ability of giving more scholarships in coming years. To kickstart their fundraising efforts, every Legion rider that takes part in the upcoming Charity Fun Ride will also be obligated to pay the $15 registration fee.
“Anybody can join us along the route. The only thing we need to know is that if somebody new starts along the route, because everybody is required to sign a waiver of liability,” Schuler said.
When the call for kickstands up comes, the riders, drivers and whatever else is road legal coming on the run will leave from the Langdon American Legion Hall. From there the group will travel through the area covering over 130 miles. Each stop will have approximately a half hour for interaction amongst the participants.
“We like to take the backways, the paved county roads. With some of us that work in these areas, we know the back two-lane paved roads that are actually kind of pretty,” Schuler said.
There will be other fundraisers occurring over the next several months, including a gun raffle with items donated by the Langdon Hardware store. The American Legion Riders would like to thank everyone who has supported them through donations and what they have done to assist the Riders.
“This all stays local. The local community is great to us, and we want to be great to the community,” Anderson said.
On Saturday, June 1 prepare to see miles of motorcycles and vehicles, proudly wearing the American Legion Riders vests traveling around the area.