Another year, another epic ride. We launched out last week with 50 riders and dozens of support staff to complete our fundraising effort for Ride430. The ride was a little different this year, since we switched our route from Scottsdale to San Diego. This year was going to take us from Mesa to Wickenburg to Prescott to Payson and back to Mesa. There was over 14,000 ft of climbing and around 360 miles.
This year we were able to raise approximately $430,000. We presented checks in the amount of $100,000 to the MARSOC Foundation, the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, and the Knights of heroes. After paying the expenses of the ride, we will be also setting up an endowment that we will use to directly assist Service Persons striving to return to duty and to a more independent life.
Each evening there was a presentation that helped set the tone for why we were doing this ride, and created camaraderie among the riders and staff. On night two, Col Thompson performed a moving presentation of the “honor table”.
An additional impressive moment was riding through town of Yarnell and seeing the memorial to the 19 firefighters that lost their lives this year. It was moving to see that so many people had left patches, coins, and other remembrances at the site of the memorial to honor the 19 firefighters.
In the end, the ride was a huge success, in funds raised and lives touched. This is year six, and I can’t imagine my October being the same without it!