3/27/2014

American Legion Riders Raise Funds for Veterans

The annual American Legions Riders Rolling Run at Converse Post 593 March 22, 2014.  M. Gwynn - Photographer
ALR 593 Chaplain Tim Vinson "El Padre"
The 10th anniversary of the chartering of the American Legion Riders Post 593 in Converse, Texas (where in the hell is Converse, Texas?) coincided with the annual Rolling Run and started off with a bang.  On Saturday, March 22, riders from all over including the local post met in Converse (located on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas) to kick off the annual ALR Rolling Ride to benefit such veterans projects as Fisher House, the Veterans Association, Wounded Warriors, and Legion Legacy; a college scholarship program for the children of veterans killed in combat.

ALR organizer Candy Zavala said "It's a biker community kind of thing."  Zavala explained that all proceeds from registration fees and concession sales go towards these projects and "anything else our soldiers need.  We even visit them in the hospital and give them packets of money - $5 to $10 so they can go down to the canteen and get themselves a soda and ruin their diabetic diets."  As she points out, many soldiers hospitalized after being wounded in combat end up far from home with no family around.  "We're their family."

ALR in collaboration with their local American Legion post also help out with making Easter baskets and other holiday baskets throughout the year.

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This year's Rolling Run offered not one but two different routes to choose from; a northern route through Canyon Lake, and a southern route.  Both were approximately 100 miles roundtrip.  Participants were given two tickets at the start of the run, and they picked up more at markers along the routes.  Once they returned, they dropped their tickets in a jar and door prizes were drawn.  Prizes were donated by local businesses who also came to join in on the fun and help out like Best Buy and Texas State bank.  The day was capped off with food and games that Zavala calls "stupid" people games like butt darts.  "Yea, people have to clench a quarter between their --you know, their legs and sort-of squat-walk over to drop them in a jar."

The event was all in good fun, but the end game always benefits veterans and their families.  For more information, visit post593.org or the Post 593 ALR page here.  

All images and video copyright M. Gwynn 2014