BREWSTER – Military veteran motorcyclists from Omak, Leahy and Chelan converged on American Legion Columbia Post 97 last Saturday morning, April 29, to participate in an Honor Flight fundraising poker run with the Legion Riders.
Post 97 First Vice Commander, Glenn Farrington was in charge of the event and by the time the 10 a.m. departure time rolled around, some 20 riders had gathered to pony up $20 for each player punch card.
“Ten dollars goes to Honor Flight Spokane,” said Farrington. “The other $10 goes into the poker hand.”
The Inland Northwest Honor Flight’s mission is to “transport Inland Northwest war veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices,” according to its website, www.inwhonorflight.org.
Since November 2009, 1,341 veterans have taken INW Honor Flights to the nation’s capital.
The Legion Riders will hold their next ride on July 22 in conjunction with the Post salmon barbecue.
‘We’ll be doing a charity teddy bear run,” said Farrington. “Entry for the ride will be a stuffed animal.”
The stuffed toys will be distributed to agencies such as the Brewster police and fire departments where they can be gifts to comfort youngsters in emergency situations like house fires and other stressful events.
Saturday’s run took the riders to stops at Chelan, Mansfield, Bridgeport and back to the starting point in Brewster.
“It’s an 80-mile round trip,” Farrington said. “I told everybody I want them back here by 3 p.m.; that’s five hours so that should give them plenty of time.”
Farrington filled the role of sweeper, and left behind the other riders to help any stragglers or riders who encountered problems along the route.
Farrington said the Legion Riders originally got their start as a group to escort local returning soldiers home from deployment.
“We would get together with their parents and surprise them and escort them home and tell them thank you.” Farrington said.
Farrington has a grandson who is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
“He’s a dog handler and he’s got a bomb dog,” Farrington said.
Donations to INW Honor Flight can be made online or mailed to: Inland Northwest Honor Flight, 608 W. 2nd, Suite 309, Spokane, WA 99201-4430
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