The stereotypical biker may bring to mind images of leather and tough guys, but the American Legion Riders have a soft spot for veterans and children’s causes. Each year they raise thousands of dollars for children’s hospitals, schools, veterans homes, wounded servicemembers, and scholarships.
It all started in 1993 when Chuck “Tramp” Dare and Bill “Polka” Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, came up with the idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization where Legion Family members could come together to share a common love for motorcycles. The post adopted a resolution for a new program called American Legion Riders, which was later adopted as a national program of The American Legion.
Currently, 106,000 American Legion Riders meet in over one thousand chapters in every domestic department and in at least three foreign countries.
Most Legion Rider projects are not about raising money, but rather showing respect and honoring the service of veterans and their families. Legion Riders attend troop send-offs, welcome home military men and women returning from deployments, and visit local VA hospitals and veterans homes.
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