On New Year’s Day the American Legion Riders Post 25 and the VFW Riders Post 3762 will be hosting two different events that are open to the public and are meant to benefit local veterans.
The day will start off with the Legion Riders’ “Annual Polar Bear Run” which has been happening for over 20 years. The event starts with breakfast being served from 9 a.m. to noon at the American Legion Post 25, 1240 US-22 in Washington C.H.
Breakfast will be $6 per person, according to the event page on Facebook.
“This is open to the public—you don’t have to be a veteran, you don’t have to ride a motorcycle. All that we ask is that you bring in canned goods and/or monetary donations,” said Mike Mallow, commander of the American Legion and president of the Legion Riders. “Everything the American Legion Riders raise, such as the canned goods and monetary donations, all go toward local veterans.”
During the event, trophies will also be presented to the oldest rider, the youngest rider and the rider who came to the Legion that rode the farthest.
“We’ve had riders ride in the snow all the way from Chillicothe to come up to this,” Mallow explained. “Which is kind of tricky on a motorcycle, but we always have a good turnout.”
Duke Hanscel, the president of the VFW Riders, explained, “We’ll leave for the ride once they’re done with their event. We’ll get everybody together and just take a nice little ride. It’s all about the charity. We’re just trying to support them this year like they’ve supported us in previous years.”
The Ride will have a focus on safety for the participants.
“What we do focus on and will focus on again this year is sober riding. This will not be a bar crawl,” Hanscel explained. “We’ll probably do 50-plus miles and just put in one stop. Our goal is safety and to get everybody back home.”
Participants in the Ride are asked to provide either canned goods or monetary donations.
“We (the VFW Riders) usually just get together and ride like always on the first and we do it for free,” said Hanscel. “This year we’re going to accept canned goods and monetary donations and then we are going to donate it to the Legion Riders for their food drive.”
“I take pride in helping out local veterans and their family,” said Mallow. “If it wasn’t for our veterans, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.