The American Legion Riders and the entire American Legion Family again showed its dedication to take care of the families of our military, raising nearly $1 million for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.
More than $554,000 was donated on the floor of the 101st American Legion Convention Aug. 27 in Indianapolis, bringing this year’s donation total to $975,208. The Legacy Fund provides college money for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher.
The top donation on the national convention floor again was the Department of Minnesota, which brought with its delegates $175,000 and has raised more than $625,000 the past three years. The Department of Missouri followed with $86,109, while South Carolina raised $66,107. The Department of Illinois contributed $32,825 and the Department of Michigan $29,023, while the departments of Florida, California, Nebraska and Kansas all contributed more than $20,000.
Alaska American Legion Riders Chapter 35 donated $14,000, while Wintersville, Ohio, American Legion Post 557 gave $10,000.
The donations came on the heels of The American Legion Legacy Run, which left American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake, Fla,, on Aug. 18 with more than 240 motorcycles and another 47 passengers and traveled into Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky before ending up at Kenneth N. Dowden Wayne Post 64 in Indianapolis. More than $292,000 was raised for the fund during this year’s American Legion Legacy Run, while more than $128,000 was donated prior to the ride.
“The Riders on this (Legacy Run) are passionate about what they do,” said Legacy Run Chief Road Captain and National American Legion Advisory Committee Chairman Bob Sussan. “The Riders adopted this Legacy Run 14 years to raise money for the children. We ride for the kids. Many of these Riders take two weeks out of their vacation time to come and do this.”
Sussan also took a moment to remember 80-year-old Wisconsin American Legion Rider Everett Johnson, a veteran of seven Legacy Runs who was involved in a motorcycle accident on his way to the start of the Legacy Run and succumbed to his injuries on the day the Legacy Run arrived in Indianapolis.
“Everett was a very dedicated Rider,” Sussan said. “He rode all of his in-state Legacy rides. Everyone on the (Legacy Run) knew Everett, and we’ll dearly miss him.”